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NDB sets to invest up to $3 billion in 2017

THE New Development Bank expects to fund 15 new projects this year with a total value of US$2.5 billion to US$3 billion in its member countries, according to the Shanghai-based bank, also known as BRICS bank.

The bank, co-funded by BRICS countries, will look into a pool of more diversified projects, involving rural water supply and transportation, NDB President KV Kamath said in a media briefing in Shanghai today.

Seen by some as an alternative to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, NDB was launched in 2015 to provide infrastructure financing to members and other developing countries.

So far, all its seven projects that gained a total of US$1.5 billion funding had a major focus of renewable energy. There were two Chinese solar power and wind power projects got financing last year, with one located in Shanghai and the other in Fujian Province.

The bank will also look to issue another yuan-denominated bond in the second half of 2017, Kamath said. The bank issued a 3-billion-yuan (US$435.7 million) green bond in China's interbank market last year.

Kamath dismissed concerns as the credit rating of one of the member countries, South Africa, got downgraded to junk status by a major rating agency. He said the rating would not influence NDB's future funding for projects in South Africa.

Earlier this month, the bank said in its second annual meetings in New Delhi that it will add new members in three years as it prepares to widen its footprint.


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