New Development Bank, the multilateral lender founded by the BRICS group of emerging-market countries, aims to increase the share of funding it raises in local currencies to 30% from less than 20%, according to its chief financial officer.
“We will increase the use of local currencies,” CFO Leslie Maasdorp told Bloomberg on Wednesday on the sidelines of the BRICS meetings in Johannesburg.
“It does not mean we are de-dollarizing or moving away from the dollar. It just means that we are raising more local-currency financing.”
He said that NDB expects to become a regular issuer in South Africa after its inaugural sale of R1.5 billion ($79 million).
The Shanghai-based lender registered a program to sell up to R10 billion in debt on the Johannesburg exchange in 2019.
NDB also plans to issue bonds in Indian rupees this year for the first time and is in talks with regulators to register a $2.5 billion program over five years, Maasdorp said.
But the majority of the bank’s funding — about 70% — will continue to be denominated in dollars, he said.
“The bank’s capital is in US dollars. Our reporting currency is US dollars. So the dollar is hot-coded in the DNA of the bank,” he said.