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BRICS bank may accept five new members

The New Development Bank wants a more multipolar international financial system, the head of the institution says

The New Development Bank is currently considering applications for membership from nearly 15 countries, head of the multinational lender Dilma Rousseff said on Tuesday in an interview with the Financial Times. 

Rousseff, a former Brazilian president who currently heads the Shanghai-based lender, said it’s likely to accept and approve the admission of four or five new members, but declined to identify the countries. 

According to the official, the BRICS bank currently sees diversification of its geographic representation as one of its top priorities. 

“We expect to lend between $8 billion and $10 billion this year,” she told the FT. “Our aim is to reach about 30% of everything we lend… in local currency.” 

She added that the NDB is planning to start lending in the South African and Brazilian currencies in an attempt to further reduce reliance on the US dollar, as the lender actively promotes a more multipolar international financial system.

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BRICS to focus on curbing dollar reliance – South Africa

According to Rousseff, the international institution is going to issue debt in rand for lending in South Africa and do “the same thing in Brazil with the real.” 

“We’re going to try to either do a currency swap or issue debt. And also in rupees,” she said, adding that the bank already lends in renminbi. 

The BRICS group comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa launched the NDB back in 2014 with the aim of providing funding for infrastructure and sustainable development projects. 

The bank formally opened for business in 2015, and Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Uruguay later joined. The NDB was founded as an alternative to US-dominated financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank.

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