World Bank to buy distressed assets

The World Bank group is set to launch a $5.5bn initiative to raise funds to buy distressed assets from banks in emerging and developing markets, in a push to clean up their balance sheets and boost credit flows. The move came as the IMF warned on Wednesday that non-performing loan ratios of emerging Europe banks could double from their current level. The IFC, the Bank’s private sector arm, will commit $1.5bn of its own funds to the new scheme and hopes to raise $4bn from partners including private sector investors.

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