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Puerto Rico oversight board to investigate debt and fiscal crisis

NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Puerto Rico's federally appointed financial oversight board said on Wednesday it will investigate the U.S. commonwealth's debt "and its relationship to the fiscal crisis" which has left it with $72 billion in debt and a 45-percent poverty rate.

The board, a creation of the 2016 federal Puerto Rico rescue law known as PROMESA, said in a statement that the investigation will review the fiscal crisis, examine the debt and how it was issued, including disclosure and selling practices.

"The Oversight Board considers this investigation an integral part of its mission to restore fiscal balance and economic opportunity and to promote Puerto Rico's reentry to the capital markets pursuant to its responsibilities under PROMESA," the statement said.

The board is tasked with managing the island's finances. Earlier this year it helped develop a 10-year fiscal turnaround plan, and is in charge of making sure it follows through.

(Reporting by Daniel Bases; Editing by Sandra Maler)