Cape Town - A joint development bank planned by the Brics group of major emerging economies will be officially launched in South Africa early next year, Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Wednesday. Leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa met last month in New Delhi to discuss setting up the bank, which would fund infrastructure and act as an alternate lender to the World Bank and other finance bodies. “We are looking forward to this historic moment where we will have an opportunity to launch the Brics development bank in the first quarter of the year,” Nkoana-Mashabane told journalists. She offered no details on funding. For years the Brics countries have demanded more influence on global financial institutions long controlled by the United States and Europe.