Officials say the BRICS group of emerging economies have agreed to launch a development bank that could rival Western-backed institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The reported agreement comes ahead of a meeting in Durban of the heads of state and government from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
South Africa’s finance minister says the agreement will be officially announced at the summit on March 27.
China’s new President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, and South African President Jacob Zuma also are expected to discuss expanding trade between their nations.
China and Brazil agreed on March 26 to conduct a significant part of their trade in their own currencies, moving away from U.S. dollar-based trading.