IMF board to back Georgieva after examining data rigging allegations – sources


The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, speaks during a joint press conference at the end of the Summit on Financing African Economies in Paris, France, May 18, 2021. Ludovic Marin / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct.11 (Reuters) – The board of directors of the International Monetary Fund will issue a statement of support for Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva after examining allegations that she pressured World Bank staff to changes the data in favor of China, sources familiar with the decision said on Monday.

The 24-member board made the decision on Monday after marathon meetings last week, in which members debated the future of Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist and the first person from a developing country to direct the fund.

France and other European governments said last week they wanted Georgieva to serve his sentence, while US and Japanese officials pushed for a thorough examination of the allegations, according to separate sources briefed on the matter.

The problem was a damning report prepared by law firm WilmerHale for the board of directors of the World Bank on data irregularities in the bank’s now-canceled “Doing Business” report.

The firm report alleged that Georgieva and other senior officials put “undue pressure” on bank staff to make changes to improve China’s ranking in the report, just as the bank sought support of Beijing for a major capital increase.

Georgieva strongly denied the allegations, which date back to 2017, when she was managing director of the World Bank. She became Managing Director of the IMF in October 2019.

France and other European governments had been pushing for a swift resolution of the issue ahead of this week’s annual IMF and World Bank meetings, where Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass are leading recovery talks. global debt after COVID-19 pandemic, debt relief and efforts to speed up vaccinations.

The United States and Japan, the fund’s two largest shareholders, have warned of premature reconfirmation of confidence in the IMF leader, one of the sources said.

Regardless of who is to blame for the changed data, current and former staff at both institutions say the scandal has tarnished the reputations of their researchers, raising critical questions about whether this work is subject to member country influence. .

Malpass declined to comment on the IMF process on Monday, but said the World Bank is working to improve the integrity of its research, including elevating its chief economist, Carmen Reinhart, to the executive team. of 10 people from the bank.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Additional reports by David Lawder; Editing by Paul Simao and Peter Cooney

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