The New Development Bank (NDB) is poised to make an announcement regarding the opening of its Moscow office, which was first revealed at the 2019 BRICS meeting, the bank's vice president and chief financial officer Leslie Maasdorp told Sputnik
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th July, 2020) The New Development Bank (NDB) is poised to make an announcement regarding the opening of its Moscow office, which was first revealed at the 2019 BRICS meeting, the bank's vice president and chief financial officer Leslie Maasdorp told Sputnik.
"The bank is well on course to open a regional office in Moscow in the near future. In due course, an announcement will be made in this regard," Maasdorp said, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the bank's original plans.
Despite the epidemiological crisis, the NDB has been able to maintain full functionality through remote working, and the bank has successfully distributed financial aid and launched new projects.
"Despite COVID-19, the NDB has been able to function optimally from an operational perspective ... The bank has been able to fully execute on all its functions from remote locations. This includes our core activities such as identifying new projects, disbursing on existing projects, conducting our fundraising activities in both local currency as well as USD. NDB was able to launch its debut $1 billion benchmark bond issue in a virtual format," Maasdorp said.
Commenting on the proposal to increase the share of BRICS national currencies in NDB's financing, which has been raised by the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Maasdorp said that the bank has already been providing loans in national currencies and will continue to do so.
"In short, NDB has the necessary infrastructure in place to raise funding in the currencies of our member countries. We will continue to offer loans in USD, which is the dominant currency of our loan portfolio. However, member countries will have the option to request loans in the currency of their choice," Maasdorp said.
The vice president cited a bond program worth 10 billion RMB ($1.4 billion) issued in China and a 2019 bond program in Moscow that was worth 100 billion rubles ($1.4 billion).
During the BRICS meeting in November, Putin also said that the Russian ruble could be used more actively in financial transactions as Russia has relative macroeconomic stability and the currency is fully convertible.