New Delhi, May 11, 2015: Mangalorean, Eminent banker Kundapur Vaman Kamath was today appointed as head of the USD 50 billion New Development Bank being set up by the five emerging economies of BRICS grouping.
K V Kamath will have a five year term of the bank, which is likely to be operationalised within one year, Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said. Kamath is the Chairman of the India’s largest private sector bank ICICI.
Leaders of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) had last year reached an agreement to establish the New Development Bank, with its headquarters in Shanghai. As per the agreement, India got the right to nominate the first president.
Kamath has been named the first president of the NDB, Mehrishi said.
The BRICS nations account for nearly USD 16 trillion in GDP and 40 per cent of the world’s population.
The bank will start with an initial paid-in-capital of USD 50 billion with each BRICS country contributing USD 10 billion. After serving at ICICI for more than a decade, Kamath had moved to Asian Development Bank, Manila, in the Private Sector department in 1988.
His principal work experience at ADB was in various projects in China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and other emerging nations.
Making a strong pitch for speeding up the creation of the BRICS development bank, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said last year that India hopes to ratify the agreement over the financial institution by 2014-end, and 2016 should be set as the target for its inauguration.
Modi had made this remark at an informal meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South African President President Jacob Zuma on the sidelines of the G20 summit at Brisbane (Australia) in November.
India’s presidency will be followed by Brazil and Russia who will have five years term each under an agreement reached after intense negotiations among the five country-grouping.
The 67-year old Mr Kamath started his career in 1971 at ICICI, an Indian financial institution that founded ICICI Bank and merged with it in 2002. In 1988, he moved to the Asian Development Bank and spent several years in South-East Asia before returning to ICICI as its managing director and CEO in 1996.
He retired as MD and CEO in April 2009, and took up his current position as non-executive chairman. He was conferred with the Padma Bhushan - India’s third highest civilian honour in 2008.