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            It is difficult to cover in this introduction every event in the history of the World Bank because from the outset its development followed international political and economic events, of which where there were many. Moreover, the Bank's history consists of a lot of so-called "firsts", such as the first time a loan was made to a country, the first time a report was issued and so on, which are not terribly important for this report. Therefore, below is only a few key events are outlined, which we thought were important to note.
             The World Bank formally began operations on 26th June 1946. The initial authorised capital of the bank was $12 million. The primary purpose of the Bank was to provide loans for reconstruction and rebuilding of Western European countries after World War 2. Another purpose of the Bank was to invest in the developing world. The lending for reconstruction ended in 1967, and into the present the Bank remains the largest source of development assistance. This assistance is intended primarily for projects that were unable to attract private investment.
             In 1947 the first ever loan was approved to Credit National of France for $250 million, which was the largest loan in real terms made by the Bank in its first fifty years. Among other things, the money were used to purchase railway locomotives and to rebuild ports. This year the bank also entered the bond market for the first time with an offering of $250 million, which was substantially oversubscribed and bonds immediately started to sell at a premium over the public offering price. By 1959 the Bank achieved the highest possible, triple bond rating, which has been rigorously maintained ever since. This was an important achievement for the bank, because it gets most of its funding from private money markets. Moreover, the first overseas offices were set up in Paris, Hague and Copenhagen, to oversee loan expenditure.


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