Saudi Arabia, Bahrain sign deal to exchange credit information

The exchange of credit information between the two countries aims to address and reduce credit risks. (Shutterstock)
Updated 06 October 2018

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain sign deal to exchange credit information

  • The bilateral agreement follows a decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council during its 37th session in 2016

RIYADH: The Saudi Credit Bureau (Simah) and the Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau (Benefit) have signed an agreement to share credit information. It is the first cross-border exchange of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The Saudi Credit Bureau (Simah) and the Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau (Benefit) have signed an agreement to share credit information. It is the first cross-border exchange of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The bilateral agreement follows a decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), during its 37th session in 2016. This approved the exchange of credit information among member countries with the aim of improving the quality of credit portfolios, reducing credit risks, setting maximum limits on credit-granting periods, and introducing guidelines for the ratio of loans to assets and the relationship between credit volume and the value of collateral. 
It also seeks to strengthen the supervisory roles entrusted to government regulating bodies and other related parties to protect the financial sector from the risks of improper financing practices, and to provide an efficient and reliable information infrastructure.
Simah CEO Suwaid Al-Zahrani, who cosigned the agreement with Benefit CEO Abdulwahed Al-Janahi, thanked King Salman for supporting the project, which he said will promote transparency in the credit-information sector.
“The exchange of credit information between the two countries aims to address and reduce credit risks and provide new tools that will enable financiers, and all related stakeholders, to extrapolate financial behaviors and make sound financial decisions,” said Al-Zahrani.
He also thanked the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, the Central Bank of Bahrain and the GCC for their support for the initiative and assistance with legislative and regulatory frameworks.
“The agreement between Simah and Benefit is a result of the development of the rules of the GCC banking and finance regulations, which will contribute to the activation of the GCC common market through several aspects, including equal treatment in the public and private sectors, the ownership of real estate, investment and service, trading and buying shares, establishing joint-stock companies, and intra-GCC trade,” Al-Zahrani added.
Al-Janahi said the importance of credit information stems from a need for the development of financial systems, and the creation of effective systems for the collection and analysis of credit information that increases the efficiency of financing operations.


Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 1 min 1 sec ago

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be lifted, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

Social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people continue to be banned.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

There will be an easing of the full lockdown measures in Makkah from June 21 and prayers at the city's mosques will be permitted.

 

— More to follow.