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World Bank: Loan demand rising as developing countries face headwinds

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The World Bank said on Monday it expects its nonmarket rate lending to top US$43 billion in the current fiscal year as developing countries face economic headwinds, bringing its total for the past four years to more than US$150 billion.

[WASHINGTON] The World Bank said on Monday it expects its nonmarket rate lending to top US$43 billion in the current fiscal year as developing countries face economic headwinds, bringing its total for the past four years to more than US$150 billion.

The multilateral lender said its International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and International Development Association (IDA) divisions are on pace to exceed the combined US$42.4 billion reached in the fiscal year ended July 1, 2015.

IBRD lending in fiscal 2016 will exceed US$25 billion, compared with US$23.5 billion in fiscal 2015. A decade ago, the IBRD lent about US$14 billion, but peaked at US$44 billion in fiscal 2010 as the financial crisis stoked demand from middle-income countries.

"We are in a global economy where growth is expected to remain weak, so it is critically important that the World Bank play our traditional role of helping developing countries accelerate growth," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

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In February, the World Bank signed a deal with Peru for US$2.5 billion in credit lines to help the Andean copper and gold exporter cope with lower global commodity prices and budget pressures. The bank is also in talks with oil exporter Nigeria on loans tied to policy reforms.

Mr Kim said World Bank lending was "highly complementary" to the International Monetary Fund's role as the main international crisis lender.

"The use of these types of loans are important because the Bank is basically signaling to the financial markets that a country's actions are technically solid, the country will follow through on these commitments and the reforms will help and not hurt the poor and vulnerable," Mr Kim said.

REUTERS

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