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Opinion

Bali’s belching volcano gives bankers pause

Bali’s Mount Agung is being watched closely by island inhabitants, holidaymakers… and the World Bank and IMF.

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On September 20, a series of tremors aroused fears that the volcano, which last erupted in 1963, might be stirring once again.

At the time of writing nothing had been disrupted, not even a flight, while the alert rating on the volcano had been raised to ‘advisory’, meaning it is showing signs of elevated unrest. 

But if it perks up over the year ahead, it is going to present an interesting call for the IMF and World Bank, which are due to hold their annual meeting in Bali next October. 

More than likely it will come to naught and the biggest threat to the annual meeting will be the legendary appalling state of the traffic to and from the airport. A Euromoney operative got stuck for two hours on an eight-mile trip to the airport in September, despite the fact that most of the journey these days is on a road that was constructed over the sea to avoid land requisition disputes. 

Apparently Bali is to gain a new underpass to ease congestion ahead of the meeting. If Indonesia’s usual pace of infrastructure development is observed, expect it to open three years after the meeting has finished. 



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