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IMF board to interview Georgieva on data-rigging claims Wednesday -sources By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Kristalina Georgieva (IMF) is the Managing Director of International Monetary Fund at a joint press conference held after the Summit for the Financing Africa Economies, Paris, France. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS/File PH

(Corrects Day of No Comment in Paragraph 7.

WASHINGTON (Reuters). The International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board will interview Kristalina Georgieva as Managing Director, Wednesday. This is to review claims Kristalina Georgieva made that she demanded data be altered to favor China for her past role at the World Bank.

The spokesperson from the IMF refused to comment on board timeline.

Board members were initially expected to meet with Georgieva on Tuesday, but spent their time working on other regular business matters, one of the sources said.

On Monday, board members spent hours questioning lawyers from the WilmerHale firm about their World Bank investigation report, which alleged that Georgieva, as the bank’s CEO in 2017, applied undue pressure on staff alter data in the flagship “Doing Business” report to benefit China.

An IMF spokesperson stated afterwards that the IMF board is “committed” to reviewing the matter thoroughly, objectively, and on time.

Georgieva, who has strongly denied the accusations, did not mention the issue during a virtual speech on Tuesday about the global economy ahead of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings Oct. 11-17.

Georgieva’s spokesperson declined to comment Tuesday.

Interviews this week may be crucial in increasing support or decreasing it for Georgieva. IMF shareholders want to finish the board’s discussion on the matter before the next high-profile meetings.

As the review is ongoing, most of the fund’s top member governments (including the United States) have so far withheld their opinions.

In January, the World Bank assigned WilmerHale to investigate “Doing Business” data anomalies identified in 2020. The World Bank then released its findings on September 16 implicating Georgieva.

Reports by the law firm claim that Georgieva, former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and his office made it possible for staff to manipulate data in order to raise China’s ranking in the 2018 “Doing Business 2018” study of investment climates to 78th place from 85th.

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