President KV Kamath Says BRICS Bank Plan to Issue Chinese Yuan, Indian Rupee Bonds

By Dayafter Bureau, Agencies

The Brics New Development Bank (NDB) has planned to issue bonds twice this year, one denominated in Chinese yuan and the other in Indian rupee, bank’s President KV Kamath said on Friday.

The bank sold its first 3 billion yuan worth ($437 million) yuan-denominated bonds in China in July 2016 to fund clean energy projects in member states.

Kamath told Xinhua news agency that following last year’s issuance, the preparation for second batch of yuan-denominated bonds, possibly in the second half of this year, is expected to be more smooth. The size will be around 3 billion yuan, similar to the last one.

He said the issuance will come after the bank is rated by international rating agencies.

Between $300 million to $500 million of rupee-denominated Masala Bonds will be issued after July, Kamath added. Masala Bonds are rupee-denominated bonds issued outside India.

Kamath said the NDB plans to lend $2.5-3 billion to fund 15 projects in member-states this year, up from $1.5 billion for seven projects in 2016. Most projects last year were connected to clean energy and transportation. Kamath said the loans will go to more sectors this year.

In India, for example, the bank will prioritise rural drinking water networks and infrastructure projects.

The Brics bank was set up with an initial authorised capital of $100 billion after leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa signed the treaty for its establishment during its sixth summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, in 2014.

The bank officially opened in Shanghai in 2015.