IMF board to grill investigators, Georgieva on data-rigging claims this week, sources say

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WASHINGTON, Oct 3 (Businesshala) – The International Monetary Fund’s executive board will this week intensify its investigation into managing director Kristalina Georgieva, interviewing her and investigators separately, who said they have accused World Bank staff of China. Was pressurized to change the data in favor of those who are knowledgeable. Said meetings.

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The board will ask lawyers for the Wilmerhall firm on Monday about their World Bank investigationreport good, said three people familiar with the plans. The report alleges that Georgieva, as the bank’s CEO in 2017, exerted undue pressure on employees to turn over data in the major “Doing Business” report to benefit China.

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Georgieva, who has strongly denied the allegations, will appear in person before the board on Tuesday, the day she is scheduled to give a virtual speech about the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank. October 11-17, two sources said.

Interviews could prove crucial in either building or eroding IMF shareholder support for Georgieva.

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So far, the fund’s most influential member governments, including the top shareholder the United States, have withheld public comment, preferring to let the review process run. Britain said in a statement to Businesshala last week that it supports transparency in the matter.

The World Bank released its findings involving Georgieva two weeks ago to WilmerHale to investigate “doing business” data irregularities identified in 2020. The investigation is led by Ron McCain, a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who co-chairs WilmerHale’s white-collar defense and investigation exercise.

The investigation reports Georgieva and former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s office pressured employees to manipulate data, so China’s global ranking in the “Doing Business 2018” study of the investment environment rose from 85th to 78th. happened.

This was reportedly intended to help win Beijing’s support for a major capital increase, which the bank’s management was seeking at the time.

An IMF spokesman declined to confirm the planned meetings. Spokesmen for WilmerHale in Boston and Washington did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokeswoman for Georgieva also declined to confirm the meetings, but said in an emailed statement that Georgieva “will not be deterred by these false allegations and remains committed to fulfilling the important mission of the IMF.”

Procedure, Evidence Question

A person familiar with the plan said that the board is expected to question the Wilmerhall team about its investigation process – the scope of its assignment, how it conducted the investigation and how it decided to publish the results, with little prior notification. Along came Georgieva.

Other questions will seek details on the link drawn in the report between changes in “doing business” data input for China and a capital-raising campaign that resulted in a $13 billion increase in the World Bank’s paid-in capital in 2018. China’s share increased.

Another source said there would also be questions over discrepancies between the interviews of witnesses, the findings of the report and the public statements of at least one person interviewed later. Shantha Devarajan, a former World Bank economist who oversaw the “Doing Business” 2018 report released in October 2017, Said he never felt pressure Georgieva, and that the Wilmerhall team used only half of her statements.

Machen did not respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by David Lauder; Editing by Dan Burns and Cynthia Osterman

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