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Bacolod City, PhilippinesFriday, May 1, 2009
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ADB triples capital
base to $165 billion

MANILA - The Asian Development Bank board has agreed to triple its capital base to $165 billion to cope with the financial crisis, the bank said yesterday.

This would ensure "much-needed resources to respond to the global economic crisis and to the longer-term development needs of the Asia and the Pacific region," the bank said in a statement.

An "overwhelming majority" of the ADB's 67 countries approved the multilateral institution's fifth general capital increase in its 42-year history on Wednesday, the statement said.

"This substantial increase is a resounding vote of confidence from our shareholders for what we can achieve as a premier development partner in the region," ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda was quoted as saying.

The statement did not say where the increased capital would come from, but earlier Kuroda said the bulk of the capital injection would come from the ADB's shareholder nations.

Japan and the United States are the biggest contributors with shares of 15.6 percent each in the bank.

The last capital increase, amounting to a 100 percent hike, came in 1994, the ADB said in a statement from its headquarters in the Philippine capital.

ADB has warned that the global financial crisis will keep more than 60 million people in developing Asian nations trapped in absolute poverty this year with another 100 million more in 2010.*AFP

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