IMF elevates China to No 3 on Board

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In a historic decision, the International Monetary Fund board on Friday boosted voting power of big emerging economies and made China the third leading voice of the global lender.

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn announced the structural reforms after a Friday meeting of the IMF's board.

It elevates China's voting power above such traditional major IMF European powers such as Germany, Britain and France.

"This historic agreement is the most fundamental governance overhaul in the Fund's 65-year history and the biggest ever shift of influence in favor of emerging market and developing countries to recognize their growing role in the global economy," IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a news conference.

Under the deal, first clinched by finance ministers of Group of 20 leading economies in South Korea last month, 6 percent of IMF voting shares will be transferred to "dynamic" emerging market countries from industrial economies.

The move vaults China over European powers Germany, France and Britain into third spot under the United States and Japan. It also lifts other large emerging powers India, Brazil and Russia into the top 10 ranks of the 187-member institution.

Emerging economies have slowly gained more clout in the IMF, but Friday's shift is by far the most significant and amounts to an overhaul of the global economic order established when the IMF was set up after World War Two.

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