World Bank to reach deal on vote change-sources

By Ana Nicolaci da Costa

WASHINGTON, April 24 (BestGrowthStock) – 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.

The talks have been difficult because advanced economies,
especially those in Europe, have been unwilling to give up some
of their voting shares, and the United States is holding on to
its veto power.

Smaller European countries have been concerned that even a
small change in their voting power would mean a marked
reduction in their influence.

Earlier this week, World Bank President Robert Zoellick
urged the Bank’s 186 member countries to set aside differences
to reach an agreement by Sunday, the last day of the IMF and
World Bank meetings.

(Writing by Lesley Wroughton; editing by Patrick Graham)

World Bank to reach deal on vote change-sources