Fortaleza, Brazil - The Brics group of emerging powers launched a $50 billion development bank Tuesday to be based in Shanghai and a $100 billion crisis contingency fund, according to a joint declaration.

The New Development Bank's first president will be from India while the board's chairman will be Brazilian, according to the declaration released at a summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The bank will have an initial subscribed capital of $50 billion followed by an authorized capital of $100 billion, equally shared among Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa.

The Contingency Reserve Arrangement will have an initial size of $100 billion and will help countries avoid “short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements.”

The bank and fund are seen as counterweights to the Western-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which BRICS nations say need more reform to give emerging nations more voting rights.

Sapa-AFP