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Report: IFC To Set Up Asian Fund

March 28, 1999

TOKYO (AP) _ International Finance Corp., an affiliate of the World Bank, will set up an investment fund to help cash-strapped Asian companies, the Japanese economic journal Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Sunday.

Nihon Keizai said the fund, to be established in April, is expected to have a pool of $750 million-$1 billion.

Private financial institutions will also participate, including New York-based Chase Manhattan Bank, which will chip in $250 million.

The fund will lend to 10-15 companies in South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia whose financial health would have been sound but for the regional economic crisis, it said.

Nihon Keizai said the IFC will invest in the firms, either by buying stock or injecting capital, in exchange for pledges to implement drastic restructuring measures, including eliminating unprofitable operations and getting rid of bad assets.

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