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TARAWA, Kiribati (July 16, 1999 – PACNEWS/Radio Kiribati)---The growing number of privately-owned mini buses in the Kiribati capital, Tarawa, has forced the country’s development bank to limit the number of loans made to people planning to buy 16-seater vans to operate as commercial buses.

The Manager of the Development Bank of Kiribati, Kietau Tabwebweiti, said the bank has decided to approve only six such loans this year because a survey showed there already is an oversupply of buses operating on the roads of South Tarawa.

The bank survey found almost 100 privately owned buses operating in the capital region.

"There is a sharp increase in road accidents involving mini buses because their drivers treat public roads like a grand prix circuit in their rush to pick up as many passengers as they can," Tabwebweiti said.

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