Cairo, Egypt April 26, 2010—Raising
standards of corporate governance can help companies in the Middle East
and North Africa improve financial performance and increase their access
to finance, according to a report launched today by IFC, a member of the
World Bank Group.
Corporate Governance Success Stories, one of the first reports of its
kind in the region, highlights the measures taken by 11 companies to improve
board effectiveness, management control, and other corporate governance
Nearly all companies reported that the improvements in corporate governance
had a strong or substantial impact on their ability to access finance,
with estimates ranging from $8 million to more than $1 billion over the
past two years. In addition, most companies highlighted the impact of good
corporate governance on their reputation and sustainability.
“Our reputation has benefitted substantially from the changes we have
made to our corporate governance practices. We now have companies calling
us asking how they can make similar changes,” said Rania Farouk of Egytrans.
Several companies, such as Bank Audi, Kashf and Microfund for Women, also
said good corporate governance helped them manage the impact of the recent
global financial crisis.
“Corporate governance has gained a lot of attention, partially because
of the global financial crisis. Companies in the Middle East and North
Africa are beginning to recognize that improving corporate governance can
have a significant positive impact on their business,” said Chris Razook,
IFC Program Manager for Corporate Governance.
IFC Advisory Services works with both private and public sector entities
across the Middle East and North Africa to strengthen corporate governance
practices. Improving corporate governance practices allows companies to
have better access to financing, helping them expand and create jobs.
In MENA, IFC currently operates country-specific corporate governance programs
in Jordan, Pakistan, and Yemen. IFC has also previously carried out activities
in countries including Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United
Arab Emirates, and the West Bank and Gaza.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk
mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.