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Direct lending by multilateral development banks to the private sector without sovereign guarantee raises two important issues. First, their presence in the financial markets alters the perception of risk, and that difference in perceived risk carries a market value; the question becomes who appropriates it. Second, by advising on policy matters related to activities that they are or may become interested in financing, or in which they have outstanding balances without sovereign guarantee, multilaterals put themselves in a conflict of interest that may affect their performance in informational and conditionality functions.
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