charged with encouraging private lending in developing countries, has decided to stop competing with banks. "There have been instances where our partners in the financial community have complained that IFC was competing unfairly with - or duplicating activities performed by - the private banking community," said Jannik Lindbaek, executive vice president of the Washington-based multilateral agency. The biggest complaints had to do with privatizations of state-owned companies, where the World Bank unit sometimes outbid commercial and investment banks for advisory contracts. From now on, according to guidelines unveiled Monday by Mr. Lindbaek, the agency will not bid on privatization jobs. The guidelines also call for the agency to accept feasibility studies and due-diligence work done by banks - instead of doing the work itself. The rules commit the IFC to stay out of securities underwritings unless they are "path-breaking" transactions. Stuart Brown, a J.P. Morgan vice president who was on hand for Mr. Lindbaek's announcement, welcomed the change. "We in the financial markets have been actively pushing for the last two or three years for the IFC to do some rethinking," he said. The corporation is funded by the governments of its 161 member countries and by earnings on its loans and other activities.
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