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NDB approves $50m local loan

By SHI JING in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-01 09:31

A view of the New Development Bank's headquarters in Shanghai in July 2021. CHINA DAILY

Funds to finance sustainable projects in Zhejiang province

The New Development Bank has approved a $50 million yuan-denominated loan to Bank of Huzhou, the lender said on Thursday, making it China's first nonsovereign loan approved by the multilateral bank.

The loan will finance sustainable infrastructure projects in Zhejiang province, with a focus on clean energy, energy efficiency, transportation, logistics, water and sanitation, according to the NDB.

Bank of Huzhou, a commercial lender in Zhejiang, will use the funds to provide project financing for local enterprises involved in rooftop solar power generation, smart parking, and reservoir maintenance and renovation.

It will be part of Bank of Huzhou's efforts to support sustainable infrastructure projects in line with the Chinese government's strategic plan to implement its sustainable development agenda and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

The NDB loan to Bank of Huzhou is part of a $1.2 billion loan approved by the multilateral lender during its 42nd board meeting in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, on Nov 28.

This is the first time that the NDB has held a board meeting in a non-founding member country, which reflects the lender's important role as a platform to promote cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries.

The remaining loan amount will go toward two infrastructure projects in India.

Founded by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in 2014 with the purpose of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging markets and developing countries, the NDB formally opened in July 2015 with its headquarters in Shanghai.

Besides the five BRICS nations, the bank has included Bangladesh, the UAE, Egypt and Uruguay in its list of members over the past few years.

Since its inception, the NDB has supported 98 investment projects worth about $33 billion, according to data released by the bank's president Dilma Rousseff in a report during the 15th BRICS Summit in August.

For 2023 and 2024, the NDB has a pipeline of 76 projects totaling $18.2 billion, she said.

In May, the NDB announced the issuance of an 8.5 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) panda bond, or yuan-dominated bonds issued by overseas institutions in the Chinese onshore market.

Setting a record in terms of issuance scale, proceeds from the panda bond will be used to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects that benefit NDB member countries and contribute to achieving the bank's sustainable development goals.

According to Rousseff, financing in local currencies is one of the bank's main goals.

As stated in the NDB's General Strategy 2022-26, up to 30 percent of its financing will be made in the local currencies of its member countries.

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