Washington D.C., April 12, 2008—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today signed a memorandum of understanding
with the Arab Monetary Fund to help create a vibrant and effective credit
bureau industry in the Middle East and North Africa. The event took place
during the 2008 World Bank Group and IMF Spring Meetings.
IFC and the Arab Monetary Fund will consolidate efforts to harmonize the
region’s credit reporting systems and implement international best practices.
Over the next three years, the two organizations will assess credit information
infrastructures in the region’s Arab countries to address gaps and challenges
facing most of these countries. They will also work to raise awareness
of credit reporting and its benefits to local economies. These efforts
will help identify strategies and action plans to establish business enabling
and regulatory environments for private credit bureaus.
By developing private credit bureaus, this initiative will help increase
knowledge sharing on credit reporting between countries; increase the efficiency
of financial intermediaries; support the growth of micro, small, and medium
enterprises; mitigate lending risks; and help central banks supervise financial
Dr. Jassim Al-Mannai, Director General and Chairman of the Arab Monetary
Fund’s Board, said, “Capacity building and sound policies are crucial
in establishing economic and financial reforms. We are delighted to cooperate
with IFC in this initiative. We are convinced that the assistance to Arab
countries will help them comply with Basel II requirements and enhance
the central banks’ supervisory powers.”
Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said, "Credit
bureaus are crucial in allowing individuals and small businesses to have
greater access to finance. We look forward to working with the Arab Monetary
Fund to create credit bureaus that will have a wide reach and positive
impact in the region."
IFC’s regional credit bureau program, launched in 2005, is managed by
IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa - PEP-MENA. IFC’s
activities include help in developing a legal and regulatory framework
and advisory services for starting and expanding credit bureaus, with a
focus on strategy, technical partner selection, and outreach and awareness
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 poor 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,
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.