Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2009─IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is helping raise awareness among senior
banking executives in Saudi Arabia and across the wider region about better
understanding and managing risk to help them navigate the current global
IFC and the Saudi Arabian Institute
of Banking today hosted a one-day conference in Riyadh entitled “Managing
Bank Risk in a Changing Environment.” During the conference, participants
discussed ways banks can establish effective risk management processes.
Other topics of discussion included changes to the International Financial
Reporting Standards, risk in a Shari’ah (Islamic law) compliant environment,
and corporate governance.
The conference provided a forum for
exchanging views and sharing experiences in banking risk management, an
especially timely topic given the current turbulent state of the global
economy. Board members, high ranking executives of local banks, senior
regulators, and international experts all attended the conference.
Michael Essex, IFC Director for the
Middle East and North Africa, said: “Saudi Arabia and other Gulf economies
have been affected by the recent drop in oil prices, making it even more
important for Saudi banks to properly manage risk. Conferences like this
one help regional banks network with one another while learning about new
risk management tools."
IFC works closely with banks across the Middle East and North Africa to
help them structure robust risk management systems and train key bank staff
on risk management. IFC has supported risk management conferences in Egypt
and Yemen in the past few months to help strengthen banking practices in
Part of IFC’s strategy in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries is to
help structure cross-border investments, including bank expansions. IFC’s
investments in Saudi Arabia are focused on building financial markets,
including leasing and Islamic banking.
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 private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2
billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For
more information, please visit www.ifc.org.
For more information about The Institute of Banking, please visit www.iobf.org.