March 2, 2017 / 7:22 AM / 6 months ago

BRICS bank to lend between $2.5-3 billion in 2017 - China Daily

Participants speak during the 7th BRICS Academic Forum in Moscow, Russia, May 22, 2015.Sergei Karpukhin/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) - The development bank set up by the BRICS group of emerging economies will aim to lend $2.5 billion to $3 billion this year, its president K.V. Kamath told the state-owned China Daily newspaper, nearly double the amount the bank loaned last year.

The New Development Bank (NDB) set up by the BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - will raise funds by issuing rupee-denominated bonds in India, the newspaper said, after it issued yuan-denominated bonds in China last year.

The bank has approved seven projects, Kamath said, according to the China Daily, and welcomes China's modern-day "Silk Road" initiative - also known as the "One Belt, One Road" initiative - to open up new land and sea routes around the world for Chinese goods.

"We see it as something that will clearly spur economic activity in the region, and we think the programme is going to succeed," Kamath said.

China will host a "One Belt, One Road" summit - its key diplomatic event for 2017 - in May and leaders from about 20 countries have already confirmed their participation.

The NDB was created in July 2014 with initial authorised capital of $100 billion. The lender was officially launched a year later.

Reporting by Sue-Lin Wong; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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