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Oops, Congress asked to fix slip-up in Myanmar aid bill

By Anna Yukhananov WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration is asking Congress to fix a 2012 bill that left a World Bank agency out of a list of 12 international financial institutions that could receive U.S. support to promote development in Myanmar. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) promotes foreign direct investment in emerging markets by protecting private investors from various forms of political risk.

Exclusive: World Bank aims to boost lending by 50 percent over 10 years

By Anna Yukhananov WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank hopes to boost its lending by 50 percent over 10 years by cutting costs, loosening a restriction on how much it can lend, and charging richer nations higher fees for some services, several people familiar with the matter said.

World Bank: Singapore, Hong Kong best for business

Singapore and Hong Kong rank the world's best places to run a business, while mainland China remains far down the list, according to the World Bank's annual competitiveness survey Tuesday. The Southeast Asian entrepots and finance centers topped the survey for the eighth straight year, with New Zealand, the United States and Denmark rounding out the top five, as a year ago. The lower ranks of the 189-country list was populated with African countries like Chad, the Central African Republic and Libya holding.

World Bank defends business rankings in latest report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank said on Monday that its scorecard on the ease of doing business around the world has spurred thousands of regulatory reforms in the past decade, pushing back against critics who argue the national rankings stigmatize rather than inspire.

Argentina to pay $500 million to end disputes at World Bank: report

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina will offer about $500 million in compensation to resolve disputes filed by corporations at a World Bank arbitration panel, a local newspaper reported on Thursday. The payment, to be made in sovereign bonds, will go to five companies that have filed complaints at the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, financial daily Ambito Financiero reported on its website, without citing sources. Efforts to reach spokespeople at the economy ministry were unsuccessful.

World Bank approves $140 million for Myanmar electricity

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank's board on Tuesday approved a $140 million interest-free loan to fund a more efficient power plant in Myanmar, as the bank seeks to support reforms in the Southeast Asian country. The World Bank has stepped up its engagement with Myanmar, which is rich in resources but underdeveloped after decades of isolation under military rule. The quasi-civilian government that came to power in 2011 re-engaged with lenders and has started implementing political and economic reforms.

World Bank political risk arm looks to back equity investors

By Anna Yukhananov WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank's political risk insurance arm wants to bring in more private equity investors, particularly those who focus on companies that can bring skills and create jobs in the developing world, the new head of the agency said. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, or MIGA, is at the forefront of changes happening at the World Bank as a whole, as the bank seeks to leverage more private capital to fight poverty amid falling government budgets.

India mulls bond buy for extra $4.3 billion World Bank borrowing

By Nigam Prusty NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's cabinet will on Thursday consider a finance ministry proposal to allow the country to borrow an additional $4.3 billion from the World Bank by investing in special bonds, in effect leveraging its foreign exchange reserves.

World Bank keeps business friendliness rating despite criticism

By Anna Yukhananov WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank on Friday said it intends to keep ranking nations on the ease of conducting business, despite criticism from countries like China that feel the scorecard unfairly stigmatizes fast-growing developing economies. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the Bank is committed to keeping its flagship "Doing Business" report, including the rating, which compares the ease of starting and conducting a business in 185 countries.
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