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Brics to fast-track new credit rating agency

Oct 16 2016 15:44

Benaulim - The Brics nations agreed on Sunday to fast-track the setting up of their own credit-rating agency to better cater to developing economies, rivalling existing ones based in Western countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said they agreed to move ahead on the ratings agency, although there was no timetable announced for its formation.

"To further bridge the gap in the global financial architecture, we agreed to fast-track the setting up of the BRICS credit rating agency," Modi said.

"In the past year, Brics have played an active role in shaping the global agenda for change and development," he said.

The agency comes amid accusations from within the bloc that the three traditional ones - Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings - are all Western-based and favour those economies.

Plans for the agency follow the establishment of a Brics bank 12 months ago with an initial capital of $100 billion, which has been seen as a challenge to Western-based institutions.

The "New Development Bank" has so far granted total loans of $900m focused on renewable energy projects to the Brics member nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"NDB has kept clean energy and green and sustainable infrastructure as its priority," Modi said.

Bank president KV Kamath, a former Indian private banker, has said in recent days that a new ratings agency would be able to help developing nations, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Brics was formed in 2011 with the aim of using members' growing economic and political influence to challenge Western hegemony.

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