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China's top legislature ratifies BRICS bank agreement

China's top legislature ratified an agreement on the founding of BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), which will fund infrastructure projects in the bloc and other developing economies, on Wednesday.

The approval was given at the bimonthly-session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, which runs until July 1.

The agreement was signed by the bloc's five members -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- on July 15 last year during the sixth BRICS summit.

It will enter into force only when all BRICS countries have submitted documents of acceptance, ratification or approval.

The Shanghai-based NDB will have initial authorized capital of 100 billion U.S. dollars, and its initial subscribed capital of 50 billion U.S. dollars will be equally shared among the founding members.

It will have a three-tier governance structure -- a board of governors, a board of directors, a president and vice presidents.

As agreed by the five countries, the first chair of the board of governors will be nominated by Russia, the first chair of the board of directors by Brazil, and the first president by India.

They also agreed to set up a NDB African regional center in South Africa.

The board of governors is expected to hold the first meeting on July 7 in Russia to appoint members of the board of directors and the management led by the president, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Rules regarding procedures will be made and the bank's five-year development strategy discussed at the meeting.

The inaugural management team will take their posts in Shanghai in middle July, according to the ministry.

The NDB is expected to launch late this year or early next year.

The bank's establishment will be an important achievement for financial cooperation among BRICS members, said Finance Minister Lou Jiwei.

It will promote infrastructure construction and sustainable development of the emerging and developing economies, he said.

The bank also helps promote reform of global economic governance, he said.

Once the agreement is approve by the NPC Standing Committee, the Chinese government will provide 10 billion U.S. dollars on time as prescribed, Shi said while elaborating on the deal at the NPC Standing Committee session on June 24.

For the time being, the agreement will not apply to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, according to the top legislature's decision.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 01Jul15]

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