Moscow - Major emerging economies may set up a joint
anti-crisis fund if they do not receive enough say in decision making at the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) under proposed voting reforms, a senior Russian
The leaders of Brics nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China
and South Africa - pledged at the Group of 20 summit in Mexico to chip in $75bn
to boost the IMF’s lending power but had sought to tie the loans to voting
At the same time Brics finance ministers and central bank
governors were instructed to study possible currency swap arrangements and
report to next year’s Brics leaders’ summit in South Africa.
“It is clear that Brics countries have entered the stage
when they can demand to be reckoned with (in the course of the IMF reform),”
Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told reporters.
“The issue of currency swaps, or maybe at some point a joint
anti-crisis fund, should be viewed from this perspective,” he said.
“It will be
a parallel mechanism in addition to the IMF.”
The five Brics nations represent 43% of the world’s
population and about 18% of global economic output. They have about $4 trillion
in combined reserves, with the lion’s share held by export powerhouse China.
“We want emerging countries to be treated fairly. The
demonstration of our desire is our statement on the currency swaps mechanism,”
Russia and its partners in an ex-Soviet customs union,
Kazakhstan and Belarus, have already set up an anti-crisis fund which has lent
money to crisis-hit Belarus.
Break the link
The emerging nations are set to raise their clout in the IMF
through increasing their voting power in the fund known as quotas. Russia wants
the quotas to be calculated based on the size of gross domestic product (GDP) and forex reserves.
Storchak said that a new formula for the IMF quotas
distribution should be agreed this year before Russia assumes the G20
Storchak said the Brics countries understood that the funds
will be used to deal with the eurozone crisis and said there was no aggressive
criticism of the Europeans at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.
“The task the Europeans face is very concrete; to break the
link between the situation in the banking sector and sovereign debt as quickly
as possible,” said Storchak.
“The sooner they break this link, the higher the chances of
them returning to the path of growth.”
Storchak said Europe's move towards an integrated banking
system was viewed by the emerging economies as more significant than the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) bonds or a fiscal union.
Storchak said that Russia’s indebted companies were much
better positioned to weather the crisis than in 2008, when many suffered from
margin calls and came close to default.
“According to the information we have the corporations which
raised funds against collateral managed to solve their problems,” Storchak
Storchak said that Russia has not been questioned at the G20
over the recent weakening of the rouble, and added that the central bank’s
policy of a more flexible currency has been praised.
He said that Russia, the holder of the world’s third-largest
gold and forex reserves, had not received any requests for financial help from
cash-strapped EU member Cyprus, which hosts many Russia-linked offshore firms