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World Bank Will Provide $1 Billion For Insurance In Mideast Investment

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WASHINGTON - The World Bank's political risk guarantee agency said on Monday it would mobilize about $1 billion for insurance coverage for countries in the Middle East and North Africa to encourage foreign direct investment.

The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, or MIGA, said its underwriters were in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia for discussions with the private sector, regional agencies and state-owned enterprises.

"Restoring investors' confidence is critical to the medium- to long-term economic and social development of the Middle East and North Africa," said Izumi Kobayashi, MIGA's executive vice president.

Countries across the region are trying to attract more foreign investment to help create jobs following mass protests earlier this year that toppled rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and sparked unrest across the region.

Foreign investors use political risk insurance to cover themselves against loss of assets through political unrest, violence, expropriation, nationalization and other government actions.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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