Business / Economy

Kamath to head new BRICS bank

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-05-12 10:33

India has named private banker K. V. Kamath as the first head of a new development bank being set up by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) group of emerging market economies, Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told reporters in New Delhi on Monday.

The BRICS nations agreed to set up the $100 billion institution last July in a step intended to reshape the Western-dominated international financial system.

It was agreed that the New Development Bank, which will fund infrastructure projects in developing nations, would be based in Shanghai. The agreement specified that it would be headed by an Indian national for the first five years, followed by a Brazilian and then a Russian.

"Kamath has been appointed as the head of the BRICS bank. The appointment will become effective when he is free from his current assignments," Mehrishi said.

Kamath, 67, is a veteran banker who was credited with developing ICICI Bank Private Ltd into India's second-largest lender. He headed the bank for 13 years until 2009 and is now its non-executive chairman.

He is also non-executive chairman of India's second-biggest software services exporter Infosys Ltd.

Atul Tiwari, a senior official in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office, said that India has conveyed the decision to nominate Kamath for the BRICS bank presidency to partner countries.

"They have been notified about it," Tiwari said. "There is no scope for any partner country to raise an objection to Kamath's appointment because it was already decided that India will choose the first BRICS bank head."

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