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Ex-Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga sets to emerge World Bank President as board vote Wednesday

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The World Bank’s 25-member executive board is set to vote on the U.S. nominee to run the World Bank, Ajay Banga, on Wednesday after completing a four-hour interview with the ex-Mastercard CEO on Monday, sources familiar with the process said.

Banga, 63, the sole contender to replace departing president David Malpass, is expected to win the consensus-based vote handily after a three-week charm offensive that saw him meet with government officials, business executives and civil society groups around the world, the sources said.

If approved, Banga could start in the new job in early June after the June 1 departure of Malpass.

U.S. President Joe Biden nominated Banga, an Indian-born executive who is now a U.S. citizen, in late February.

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One of the sources said Banga had impressed shareholders in recent weeks as a “true change maker” who will help accelerate reforms at the global development bank, which is under pressure to increase its lending to help developing countries address global challenges such as climate change and conflict.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Reuters last month she is insisting that next steps in the World Bank’s evolution be taken “on a rolling basis” in coming months after the bank’s board approved an initial set of reforms at its spring meetings.

She said attracting more private capital for development goals would be a key area of focus for Banga if he is approved.

The World Bank has been led by an American since its founding at the end of World War Two, while the International Monetary Fund has been led by a European.

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