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World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva speaks during a session of the Gaidar Forum 2018 "Russia and the World: values and virtues" in Moscow, Russia on January 17, 2018. Photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Bulgarian economist to head International Monetary Fund

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Bulgarian economist who grew up when her country was a communist nation has been selected to be the next leader of one of capitalism’s premier institutions, the 189-nation International Monetary Fund.

Kristalina Georgieva, a top official at the World Bank, was chosen by the IMF’s executive board on Wednesday to become the IMF’s managing director. She succeeds Christine Lagarde who is stepping down to take over as head of the European Central Bank.

The IMF is the world’s lender of last resort, providing emergency loans when countries are facing financial crisis. Georgieva takes over at a time when the global economy is slowing and the two biggest economies, the United States and China, are engaged in an escalating trade war.

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