India Nominates ICICI’s Chairman Kamath to Lead BRICS Bank

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India’s Finance Ministry nominated Kundapur Vaman Kamath, chairman of the nation’s largest private sector lender, as the first head of the $50 billion BRICS Bank, said ministry spokesman D.S. Malik.

Kamath, 68, is non-executive chairman at ICICI Bank Ltd. and software company Infosys Ltd. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and studied management at India’s top business school. He started his career at infrastructure lender ICICI in 1971 before working with the Asian Development Bank in Southeast Asia in the late 1980s. He ran ICICI, which later merged with ICICI Bank, until 2009.

The five largest emerging markets had agreed on the structure of the development bank in July by granting India its first rotating presidency and China its headquarters. The leaders also formalized the creation of a $100 billion currency exchange reserve, which member states can tap in case of balance of payment crises, according to a statement issued at a summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Founding members have equal voting rights in the BRICS bank. Of the total subscribed capital, $40 billion was planned as callable shares with payment of the remaining $10 billion to be made over seven years.

The BRICS have evolved from the original term coined in 2001 by then-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist Jim O’Neill to describe the growing weight of Brazil, Russia, India and China in the global economy. In 2011, South Africa joined to give the BRICS a broader geographic representation.

Kamath was awarded India’s third-highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan, in 2008.

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