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World Bank Board Said to Plan Decision on President April 16

March 30 (Bloomberg) -- The World Bank plans to pick its new president April 16 after interviewing the three candidates for the post the previous week, according to three officials at the lender’s board.

Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is scheduled to meet the 25-person board April 9, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the dates haven’t been made public. Former Colombian finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo is to be interviewed on April 10, followed by the U.S. candidate, Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim on April 11, the officials said.

The new president will succeed Robert Zoellick, whose term ends June 30. The U.S. is the bank’s largest shareholder, and an American has always held the top job. The bank had previously said it would make a decision by April 20.

World Bank spokesman Frederick Jones declined to comment because the selection process is decided by the board.

In a letter to the other governors of the 187-country World Bank this week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner sought support for Kim, a physician and a specialist on HIV/AIDS, and stressed his understanding of the World Bank’s responsibilities beyond his area of expertise.

The new president will take over an institution that lent $57 billion last year, as private investors step up their funding for development projects, turning the World Bank into more of a technical adviser.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sandrine Rastello in Washington at srastello@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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