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February 05 2015

Chief Executive Officer of SEDCO Holding Group Participates at the HOPE Global Forum 2015 in Atlanta

We aim to expand our success by reaching 2 million young adults below the age of 25

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, February 5, 2015: SEDCO Holding Group, founders of Riyali Program for Financial Literacy, participated in the third HOPE Global Forum Annual Meeting this year, hosted by Operation HOPE, the leading non-profit global financial organization.

Under the theme of Reimagining the Global Economy: Expanding Free Enterprise for All ”, global leaders in the government, and private sectors convened in Atlanta, Georgia USA to outline a vision for today’s global economy.

The keynote speaker of the forum was former US President Bill Clinton, who spoke about Inclusive Economics and the values of giving back.

Anees Ahmed Moumina, the Chief Executive Officer of SEDCO Holding was among the leaders who spoke at the forum. As a key partner of the Riyali Program, HOPE has helped to bring international expertise to support the successful program as well as providing a global platform for SEDCO to share its experience.  

Speaking on the “Re-imagining Our Economy and What the Global Leaders Can Do to Ignite Free Enterprise” panel session, Mr. Moumina highlighted the relevance of the Middle East Region. “This growing population is in need of better education and more enhanced skills” he said, which is what SEDCO Holding Group is striving to achieve. Stressing the importance of an inclusive approach, he defended the benefits of capitalism as a form of free enterprise that promotes competition, all with governmental regulation and the promotion of responsible business.

“Today, we need stronger support to make capital more accessible to the youth and small businesses,” said Mr. Moumina. “Our Riyali Program for Financial Literacy has achieved great success in KSA and we are excited to share our experience internationally by participating in events such as HOPE which enabled us to contribute to financial awareness. And as a matter of fact, such enterprises do not clash with government programs and this is evident from the support and endorsement we have received for the Riyali Program from the Saudi Ministry of Labor.”

The Riyali Program aims to reach more than 2 million beneficiaries aged 25 and below within the next five years (until 2020). Of these, 700,000 people will be reached online and 300,000 through classrooms. In addition to that, the program aims to reach one million people through social media.

"The 2015 HOPE Global Forum is shaping up to be the best one yet with well-respected, experienced leaders from every discipline joining us this week to move the dialogue forward as we develop the blueprint for a new, inclusive global economic vision," said John Hope Bryant, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE.  “We are honored to partner with SEDCO and pleased to have Anees Moumina and Amr Banaja join us in Atlanta. The entire Operation HOPE family is humbled by the record level of interest in this year's Forum – we're ready to make history once again."

Amr Banaja, Vice-President, Corporate Communications and Marketing led a business session called “Mobile Technology: “A Platform for Changing Our World”. He discussed the experience of mobile applications used for Riyali program for Financial Awareness as well as the benefits of mobile technology, which is reshaping the economy and creating opportunities to enhance access to financial services, lower costs, and also providing tools to increase consumer skills. “There was close cooperation with the Ministry of Labor (MOL) which resulted in launching the second phase of our online learning program, comprising of awareness training that can be used to provide information and educational tools for the target audiences online,” he added.

The Riyali Mobile Application ranked number 10 among 40 financial applications on the Apple iTune’s store. The app contains specific classifications for income and expenditure while helping to improve and enhance the financial and investment skills with the ability to continuously update those skills. The team that participated in this session discussed the possibility of creating opportunities to improve access to financial services, reduce costs and to provide necessary tools to improve skills.

The Riyali Program for Financial Awareness was launched in 2012 and has since proven to be a very successful initiative. In the past three years, two programs have been implemented - one for college students and the other for children aged 10 to12. More than 400 volunteers participated in the training program across 15 cities. The program has also targeted ambassadors with Master’s degrees and it seeks to train as many ambassadors as possible.

The Forum is one of many platforms that deal with financial illiteracy. The organizers selected social values, personal characteristics and responsible Capitalism as key points for discussion in order to find methods to solve the financial issues that the world will witness in the future.

It is worth reminding that the two-day Forum “Re-imagining the Global Economy” discussed the new global economy, the methods of empowering the poor and the middle class, to not exploit what they own, to achieve economic growth, the importance of encouraging entrepreneurial spirit and creating job opportunities.     

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About Riyali:

“Riyali”, SEDCO Holding’s Financial Literacy Program, was launched in 2012 and aims to familiarize members of the community with financial planning and management in order to meet their personal financial responsibilities. “Riyali” aims to educate kids and Saudi youth on financial concepts such as planning, budgeting, saving, investing and borrowing in order to empower them with the personal financial skills required to achieve a desirable standard of living. The program most recently won the Makkah Award for Excellence in 2012.

About SEDCO Holding:

Founded in 1976 by the Bin Mahfouz family, one of the leading banking families in Saudi Arabia, SEDCO has become recognized as a leading Shari’ah-compliant organization, responsible for a diverse spectrum of operating companies in industries such as, real estate development and management, travel and tourism, hospitality, automobile leasing and casual dining, in addition to managing private and public equity holdings in Saudi Arabia and around the world. SEDCO Holding was established to consolidate the various business activities of SEDCO in which the wealth of the Bin Mahfouz family is invested. SEDCO Holding applies the highest standards of corporate governance in accordance with by-laws of international standards that ensure the longevity and growth of the business. Based in Jeddah, SEDCO Holding is headed by a board of directors comprised of eight members, five of which are from outside the family and are chosen from prominent local and international experts. SEDCO Holding is dedicated to responsible and ethical corporate practices through strong leadership and strategies that have enhanced SEDCO’s position as a prominent Saudi group with global investments. SEDCO Holding is committed to supporting the welfare and development of individuals and communities across Saudi Arabia and invests in a range of corporate social responsibility activities, recognizing that business success brings a responsibility to contribute to the advancing economic and social development of communities where it has a presence. SEDCO’s social responsibility efforts focus on serving its employees, the sectors it operates in, the environment, and the broader community. More information at www.sedco.com

For more information, please contact Hussein Nasrallah, Sr. Media Relations Manager on 012-651-0704

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Founded in 1992 immediately following the King Riots in Los Angeles, Operation HOPE works to promote financial dignity through financial literacy and education tools in underserved communities. Through its four core portfolios, the organization has provided youth and adult financial literacy, economic preparedness, digital empowerment, promoted home ownership, and assisted with foreclosure prevention to more than 2.2 million individuals, families, and small business owners worldwide.