The Financial Express

NDB boss to consider Bangladesh's 1.0pc stake

| Updated: February 04, 2021 20:42:24

File photo of New Development Bank President Omarcos Troyjo. (Collected) File photo of New Development Bank President Omarcos Troyjo. (Collected)

President of the Shanghai-based New Development Bank (NDB) Omarcos Troyjo on Tuesday assured Bangladesh of considering its desire to get 1.0 per cent stake in the bank, a Ministry of Finance (MoF) official said.

"The Finance Minister has requested for higher share than what the NDB had offered earlier. The NDB president responded positively, saying that they'll try to consider it," he said.

The assurance came when Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made a courtesy call on the NDB president remotely and communicated Bangladesh's wish to get higher stake in the lending agency.

Officials said Bangladesh sought 1.0 per cent share in the bank as the country has formally agreed to join the lending agency established by BRICS member countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Dhaka wants to join the bank as the first shareholder after the five core members of the bloc, they said.

The NDB would send a technical team soon to finalise Bangladesh's joining the bank as a new shareholder, added the officials.

At Tuesday's meeting, the finance minister sought the higher stake than the previously offered 0.76 per cent at the successor of the BRICS Bank-NDB, the MoF official told the FE.

The lender has offered shares to the UN member countries, including Bangladesh, to buy stakes in the bank, established in July 2015 under an agreement reached in Brazil.

The initial authorised capital of the bank is US$100 billion where the subscribed capital is $50 billion divided into paid-in shares ($10 billion) and callable shares ($40 billion).

The initial subscribed capital of the bank was equally distributed among the founding five members.

Another government official told the FE that Bangladesh was initially offered nearly 0.76 per cent stake.

However, if all the UN member countries join the bank, the share of Bangladesh would ultimately come down to 0.42 per cent.

Dhaka would have to pay $382 million in next seven years for becoming a shareholder of the bank, he added.

According to a MoF press release issued here on Tuesday, the meeting between finance minister Kamal and the NDB president discussed issues that included Bangladesh's future role at the Bank, terms and conditions for getting loans, and other investments.

It said a technical team would be formed and details would be discussed about joining the bank.

The MoF official said that as part of the policy for opening up more windows of getting foreign assistance, the government has decided to join the Shanghai-based lending agency. In 2016, Bangladesh joined the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The Beijing-based lender has been financing many projects in Bangladesh in several sectors such as power, transportation, water supply and sanitation.

After the independence in 1971, many multilateral and bilateral donors, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, Japan, Islamic Development Bank, UKAID, and USAID have been providing loans and grants for developing the country's infrastructure and reducing hunger.

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