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IFC, World Bank, and Arab Monetary Fund Support Development of Private Credit Bureaus in Middle East and North Africa


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 24 619 140
Fax: +202 24 619 145
E-mail:
rmustafa@ifc.org


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 bureaus.


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 financial sectors.

About IFC

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, visit
www.amf.org.ae