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China's top legislature reviews BRICS bank agreement

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BEIJING, June 24 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature started reviewing an agreement on the founding of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB), intended to fund infrastructure in the BRICS bloc and other developing economies, on Wednesday.

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

It will enter force only when all BRICS countries have deposited instruments of acceptance, ratification or approval.

The agreement over the Shanghai-based bank had been ratified in India and Russia by April 27, said Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin while elaborating on the deal at the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

The 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 founding members, under the agreement.

It will stipulate a three-tier governance structure -- a board of governors, a board of directors and management led by the president.

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 of the bank by India, Shi said.

They also agreed to set up an African regional center of the NDB in South Africa.

The establishment of the bank will be a milestone in financial cooperation among BRICS members, according to Shi.

Aside from its main funding function, it will help enhance the bloc's role in the international arena and promote reform of global economic governance, he said.

The agreement will initially not be applied in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region after the foreign ministry consulted with the regional government.

Once the agreement is approve by the NPC Standing Committee, the Chinese government will subscribe 10 billion U.S. dollars on time as prescribed, Shi said.

He also noted that the NDB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund would operate independently although all three were financed by the government.

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