BRICKS' New Development Bank almost doubles its loan book

The bank has increased its loan book to $16 billion this year and approved five additional projects.

At the 4th Annual Meeting of the New Development Bank (NDB) in Cape Town the NDB announced its intentions to almost double its loan book to $16 billion in 2019 and increase its impact in an attempt to broaden its global development partnerships and to mobilise more institutional and private capital. 

The bank was established by Brazil. Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) in 2014 to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in member states as well as other emerging economies.

The NDB President, K V Kamath, said in his keynote speech that, in 2019, the bank will build on the strong momentum in their operations. “The bank will ramp up its hard currency financing from the international capital markets,” he continued. 

In 2018, the NDB approved 17 loans totaling about $4.6 billion, building on its base of 13 loans worth $3.4 billion as of the end of 2017. That brought the total loan book of the bank to 30 projects worth approximately $8 billion by the end of 2018.

The NDB also announced that on 31 March its board of directors had approved five additional projects with loans aggregating to about $1.2 billion, two in China and three in South Africa, taking its total loan book to $9.2 billion. 

This includes R1.15 billion ($80 million) to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) for its Renewable Energy Sector Development Project; and R3.2 billion ($220 million) to South Africa’s Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) for work on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (Phase II).

The bank has also signed a $180 million loan agreement with Eskom to fund the integration of 670 Megawatts of renewable energy into South Africa’s power grid, as well as a two-step $300 million load to the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses and support renewable energy in South Africa. 

“We plan to end the year with total loan approvals of about $2.3 billion in South Africa,” said K V Kamath, adding that the opening of the Africa Regional Centre (ARC) in Johannesburg in 2017 had helped the NDB make progress in South Africa.

Leslie Maasdorp (pictured), vice president and chief financial officer of the NDB, added that the Bank had received regulatory approval for a R10 billion local currency bond programme in South Africa.