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World Bank's Kim warns even U.S. default threat hurts poorest

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim gestures during a press conference held in Beijing, September 18, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim gestures during a press conference held in Beijing, September 18, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Wednesday said even the threat of a U.S. default could hurt emerging markets and the world's most vulnerable people.

"We're very concerned. Because right now there's so many headwinds as it is for emerging markets and the developing world, that that kind of impact really could be devastating," Kim said in an interview with CNN broadcast live at the World Bank, the Washington-based poverty-fighting institution.

He pointed to the persistent market impact from the last time the United States approached defaulting on its debt, in August 2011, when markets in developing countries dropped. Falling markets hurt not only large corporations, but also small business owners and farmers around the world, he said.

(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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