Top legislature ratifies BRICS bank deal

Updated: 2015-07-03 09:20


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China's top legislature ratified an agreement on the founding of the BRICS New Development Bank, which will fund infrastructure projects in the region and other developing economies, on Wednesday.

The approval was given at the bimonthly-session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

The agreement was signed by the bloc's five members-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa-on July 15, 2014 during the sixth BRICS summit.

It will come into effect only when all BRICS countries have deposited instruments of acceptance, ratification or approval.

So far, the agreement over the Shanghai-based bank had been ratified by India and Russia.

The NDB will have initial authorized capital of $100 billion, and its initial subscribed capital of $50 billion will be equally shared among the founding members.

It will have a three-tier governance structure-a board of governors, a board of directors and management led by the president.

As agreed by the five countries, the first chair of the board of governors will be nominated by Russia, the first chair of the board of directors by Brazil, and the first president by India.

They also agreed to set up an NDB African regional center in South Africa.

For the time being, the agreement will not apply to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, according to the decision.

In another development, the BRICS Contingency Fund, initiated by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will be operational in 30 days, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

According to the ministry, all members have now ratified their participation in the agreement.

The fund aims to be an alternative to the BRICS nations if they ever find themselves in need of quick funds in a crisis and will amount to $100 billion.

All five member countries are contributing to the fund, with China being the leading contributor with $41 billion, Brazil, Russia and India with $18 billion each, and South Africa with $5 billion.

"The agreement aims to provide temporary resources to BRICS members facing pressure in their balance of payments. This instrument will contribute to promoting international financial stability, as it will complement the current global network of financial protection," the ministry said.

"It will also reinforce the world's economic and financial agents' trust and mitigate the risk of contagion from eventual shocks that may affect the economies of the bloc," it said.

Last year, during its sixth summit in Brazil, BRICS announced the creation of the BRICS Development Bank and of the BRICS Contingency Fund.

According to the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, the process of ratification of the member countries' participation in the bank is about to end aswell, which means the bank is closer to becoming operational.