Cairo, June 25, 2008—IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, the Arab Monetary Fund, and the World Bank are
organizing a conference to discuss ways to create a vibrant and effective
credit bureau industry that will facilitate lending to people in the Middle
East and North Africa.
The conference, entitled Developing Credit Bureaus in the Arab World
, will bring together senior representatives from central banks, commercial
banks, and nonbank financial institutions, as well as private credit bureau
companies from the Arab region to discuss regional trends in credit reporting.
It aims to increase knowledge sharing on credit reporting and to raise
awareness of its benefits to local economies. The event will be held in
Cairo on June 25.
“Credit bureaus are essential to creating sound financial infrastructure
in the Middle East and North Africa. Without this, lending to many of the
region’s people and small businesses is virtually impossible,” said Frank
Sader, IFC Principal Operations Manager.
The conference is part of the Arab Credit Reporting Initiative, which was
launched by IFC and the Arab Monetary Fund in April 2008. The two organizations
are consolidating efforts to harmonize the region’s credit reporting systems
and implement international best practices. Over the next few years, the
two organizations will assess credit information infrastructure in Arab
countries and address gaps and challenges. They will also work to raise
awareness of credit reporting and its benefits through workshops and publications.
These efforts will help identify strategies to establish a business enabling
and regulatory environment that supports the development of private credit
The initiative is designed to increase the efficiency of financial intermediaries;
support the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises; mitigate lending
risks; help with Basel II compliance; and help central banks supervise
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing
advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s
vision is that people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve
their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional
$3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299
investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services
in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the Arab Monetary Fund
The Arab Monetary Fund, a regional Arab organization, was founded in 1976
and started operations in 1977. The fund has 22 member countries and promotes
the development of financial markets in Arab countries, while establishing
policies and methods for Arab monetary cooperation. This is done by providing
short- and medium-term credit facilities to member states to help finance
their overall balance-of-payments deficits. The fund also provides technical
assistance to banking and monetary institutions in member states, conducts
research, and disseminates knowledge on related topics. For more information,