US Economist Paul Romer. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – The BRICS New Development Bank plans to double its lending to $16 billion by the end of 2019, president of the bank Kundapur Kamath said yesterday.

Kamath said the bank, which was established in 2014, had $5 billion of capital derived from its members, and had so far approved 30 loans, 17 of which were approved last year to a value of $4.6 billion.

He said the bank would issue bonds in local currencies in South Africa, Russia and India in 2019, apart from the bonds that have already been issued in renmindi in China.

The bank, with its head-office in China, would also open regional offices in Brazil and Russia this year – it opened its first regional office in South Africa two years.

Subhash Garg, Finance Secretary Ministry of Finance, India, said the bank was considering proposals to broaden its membership.

He said the time had come for BRICS countries to play a bigger role in the development finance needs of the whole world.

The bank yesterday signed two loan agreements to South African institutions worth R6.83bn ($480 million): a R4.27 billion ($300) million loan to the Development Bank of Southern Africa for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and energy sector development, and a R2.56 billion ($180 million) loan to Eskom for the Renewable Energy Integration and Transmission Augmentation Project.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE