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David M. Sassoon

The World Bank Group may now be expected to increase its lending to the mining sector. The pressure to find and develop new mineral resources is increasing the risk of mining ventures at every stage. The author, a Bank attorney, discusses previous lending for mining in the context of guarantees both to mining companies and to the developing countries where the mines are located.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Despite the difficult global environment, economic growth in Mozambique has remained buoyant. Inflation has come down more rapidly than anticipated. Foreign direct investment in the natural resource sector has resulted in rapid import growth. The contribution of coal production and exports and the implementation of large infrastructure projects are projected to boost economic growth. However, capacity building is urgently needed for the country to secure full benefits from an imminent natural resource boom. New mining and hydrocarbon framework laws have also been prepared.
Miss Mali Chivakul and Mr. Waikei R Lam
This paper documents and assesses the risk stemming from rising corporate indebtedness in China using a firm-level dataset of listed firms. It finds that while leverage on average is not high, there is a fat tail of highly leveraged firms accounting for a significant share of total corporate debt, mainly concentrated in the real estate and construction sector and state-owned enterprises in general. The real estate and construction firms tend to face lower borrowing costs and could withstand a modest increase of interest rate shocks despite their high leverage. The corporate sector is however vulnerable to a significant slowdown in the real estate and construction sector. Our sensitivity analysis suggests that the share of debt that would be in financial distress would rise to about a quarter of total listed firm debt in the event of a 20 percent decline in real estate and construction profits.
International Monetary Fund

Niger’s Fourth Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and Request for Waiver and Modification of Performance Criteria are examined. Economic growth in 2006 has been satisfactory at 4.8 percent, owing to a good harvest for the second year in a row, and strong mining, telecommunications, and construction activities. Inflation has been low, and food security improved, partly because of continued donor support. The fiscal deficit in 2006 has been smaller than programmed because of underspending and exceptional mining receipts.