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Probe found 'undue pressure' from World Bank leaders to boost China business rankings

Kitco News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An investigation conducted by law firm Wilmerhale concluded that leaders of the World Bank applied ";undue pressure" to secure changes aimed at improving China's ranking in the bank's ";Doing Business 2018" and those of other countries in the 2020 report.

The report cited ";direct and indirect pressure" from senior staff in the office of then-World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to change the report's methodology to boost China's score, and said it likely occurred at his direction.

It said it found that then-CEO Kristalina Georgieva, now the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, and a key adviser pressured staff to ";make specific changes to China's data points" and boost its ranking, at a time when the bank was seeking China's support for a big capital increase.

Georgieva, in a statement, rejected the findings of the probe and said she had met with the IMF's executive board to discuss the matter.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder

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