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Latin America Ministers Urge More Money for Lenders

By Sebastian Boyd and Nathan Gill
     July 3 (Bloomberg) -- Finance ministers from North and South America meeting in Chile agreed to push for more financing for multilateral lenders such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, Chile’s Andres Velasco said.
     The IDB’s board may agree to vote for a capital increase at its meeting in March, Velasco said today in Vina del Mar.
     The biggest risk facing Latin America is the inability to refinance debt because of tight credit conditions, the World Bank said in a report published today. Companies and governments in Latin America may need to borrow as much as $180 billion this year, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said yesterday.
     “There are a group of countries, which doesn’t include Chile, that face significant financing needs in 2009,” Velasco said. “There was consensus at today’s meeting to ask for a more active role for multilateral credit institutions.”
     Chile will forward Latin America’s requests to the Group of 20 meeting in October in Pittsburgh, Velasco said. Those requests are likely to include more money for development lenders and a demand for tighter rules on banks and capital markets, he said.
     “The region right now needs the strong support of the international financial institutions,” Osvaldo Kacef, director of economic development and the U.N.’s economic commission for Latin America, said in an interview yesterday. “This is not the moment for the public sector to save. What countries need to do is spend.”

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