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World Bank’s Political Risk Insurance Arm (MIGA) Launches Asian Hub
“Pace and Strength of Asian Investment” Key to Decision, says Kobayashi

Washington, DC and Hong Kong SAR, China, August 30, 2010—The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank Group, today launched its Asian hub, operating from Hong Kong SAR, China and Singapore—expanding the agency’s reach beyond its Washington, DC headquarters and signaling a strong emphasis on inbound and outbound Asian investment.

Kevin Lu, MIGA’s Chief Financial Officer and Director of the Finance and Risk Management Group, will head the Asian hub in his new role as Regional Director for Asia-Pacific. Lu will be joined by Hal Bosher, Senior Underwriter based in Hong Kong, and Ann Russell-Cook, Senior Underwriter based in Singapore. Rounding out the team will be local representatives Chao Shen (in Beijing) and Yasu Himeno (in Tokyo).

“There are two strong motivations for MIGA to launch an Asian hub,” said Izumi Kobayashi, MIGA’s Executive Vice President. “The first is logistics: we can now more effectively service our Asian clients because we have a foot on the ground in the region.” She adds, “Of course, the pace and strength of Asian investment is also a major motivation.”

Since its inception in 1988, MIGA has issued nearly $2.0 billion in guarantees for more than 90 projects in Asia, with guarantees ranging in size from $118 million for an investment in the Philip-pines to less than $200,000 for a project in China. With respect to outbound investment, over this same time period, MIGA has issued over $560 million in guarantees to Asian investors in support of 30 projects outside the region.

Recently, MIGA signed memoranda of understanding with both the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Korea’s Eximbank to cooperate to promote private sector investment in developing countries. These are in addition to the reinsurance agreement signed between MIGA and Japan’s Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) in 2009.

Kevin Lu notes, “As Asian investors advance their strategy, they are looking for areas far beyond their geographic confines—to Africa and Latin America, for example. This is a critical point for MIGA: we are well-positioned to help investors mitigate risks and navigate issues they may have not encountered before.” He continues, “At the same time, MIGA emphasizes that there is still much developmentally sound investment to be encouraged within the region.”

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MULTILATERAL INVESTMENT GUARANTEE AGENCY
A Member of the World Bank Group
1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20433

MIGA Contact:
Mallory Saleson, MIGA
Tel: +1 202 473-0844
E-mail: msaleson@worldbank.org

Rebecca Post, MIGA
Tel: +1 202-473-1964
E-mail: rpost@worldbank.org

Cara Santos Pianesi
Tel: +1.202.458.2097
E-mail: csantospianesi@worldbank.org     

Release no. 2010/150
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