UPDATE 2-World Bank backs Humala's Peru with $3 bln loan
* World Bank extends $3 billion line of credit to Peru * Lender says shares Humala's priorities on social policy * Regional VP compares Humala to Brazil's Lula By Caroline Stauffer and Teresa Cespedes LIMA, Oct 25 (Reuters) - The World Bank has offered a $3 billion line of credit to Peru, backing President Ollanta Humala's plans for anti-poverty initiatives and sustained economic growth, a regional vice president said on Tuesday. The World Bank will soon begin talks with Peru to work out the 2012-2016 lending framework covered by the loan package, Vice President for Latin America Pamela Cox said. Humala was elected in June promising to better distribute the fruits of a decade-long economic boom to the 1 in 3 Peruvians living in poverty. Though he once scared investors with radical rhetoric, he now promises to keep free-market reforms intact. "This is a vote of confidence in the sense that Peru's macro-fundamentals are very strong," Cox told journalists after meeting with Humala. She said the loan amount could be altered if Peru's macro-economic position were to deteriorate, but that funding would not be affected by a global economic crisis. Latin America will likely grow between 3.5 and 4 percent in 2011 she said, cutting the bank's previous estimate of between 4.5 and 5 percent for the region. Turmoil in developed economies will likely reduce demand for the region's exports. she said. Peru's economy is expected to grow 6 percent this year after surging 8.8 percent in 2010, one of the world's fastest rates. Cox said the World Bank loan would fund anti-poverty initiatives and help build infrastructure that have lagged Peru's fast growth. Humala's background and policy platforms resemble Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who rattled markets when he was elected in 2002, Cox said. "Lula proved to be one of the most successful presidents in Brazil," she said. "He reduced poverty, he grew the economy, let's hope President Humala does that."
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