Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, May
28, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will help Saudi Hollandi
Bank support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s small businesses and encourage
economic diversification by advising the bank on its expansion into small
and medium enterprise banking operations.
Under a new agreement, IFC and Saudi Hollandi Bank will jointly develop
and fine-tune the bank's product offerings, credit risk management, and
delivery channels to meet the banking needs of small and midsize businesses
in the Kingdom.
"This partnership will provide Saudi Hollandi with the expertise and
knowledge to make a real difference to our small and medium business customers,"
said Mubarak bin Abdullah Khafrah, Chairman of Saudi Hollandi. “As a leader
in the Kingdom’s banking sector, we have to provide these companies, which
are the engine of our economic growth, with the financial tools to succeed.”
Recent events in the Middle East and
North Africa have demonstrated the importance of creating employment opportunities
and a more equitable economy for the young and growing population of the
region. Expanding services to small business owners is critical to helping
meet these needs.
Small and medium enterprises make up
over 90 percent of businesses in Saudi Arabia and employ over eighty percent
of the workforce. Yet the contribution of small to medium enterprises to
the country’s total GDP is low compared to other countries, at only 33
percent total share of private sector gross domestic product.
“Saudi Hollandi has already made good
progress developing its small business banking operations and IFC welcomes
the opportunity to work together to build an even stronger pipeline for
the future,” said Walid bin Abdul Rahman Al-Murshed, IFC Principal Country
Officer in Saudi Arabia. “Supporting small and medium enterprises to build
a diverse and sustainable economy is fundamental to IFC’s strategy in
Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and North Africa region.”
The initial phase of this project is
expected to be completed by the end of 2011, with further phases scheduled
for 2012 and beyond.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty
and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses
employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital
from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable
development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments
have reached a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information,