World Bank to reach deal on vote change: sources

Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:30pm EDT
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By Ana Nicolaci da Costa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - World Bank member countries reached a preliminary agreement on a 3.13 percent shift in voting power to give emerging and developing nations greater influence in the global institution.

World Bank officials, who agreed to talk on condition of anonymity, said the shift would increase the votes of the developing world to 47.19 percent.

"There is a 99 percent chance this (deal) is closed," one World Bank source told Reuters.

The battle over influence at the aid-focused bank is part of efforts to reflect the growing clout of developing economies on the world stage and an important precursor to a similar move on the International Monetary Fund.

The agreement will be confirmed on Sunday when member countries convene at meetings on the World Bank's Development Committee. A final decision will be decided in a vote by member countries.

"Nothing is done until our shareholder countries meet tomorrow at the Development Committee," World Bank spokesman Carl Hanlon said.

Earlier, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn tipped journalists off to a possible World Bank agreement during a news conference, saying "they achieved their shift in quota ... but at least I won't talk on behalf of Mr. Zoellick."

The 3.13 percent shift would amount to a contribution by the parties getting the extra power of about $1.6 billion in resources for the poverty-fighting global institution.   Continued...