EDB to suggest all CIS countries join bank's founding charter

MINSK. Sept 21 (Interfax) - The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is planning to propose that all CIS countries join the bank's founding charter, Anatoly Kazakov, chairman of the coordinating board of the CIS Financial and Banking Council, told Interfax.

"It is planned to invite founders from all CIS countries," he said.

The EDB with charter capital of $1.5 billion was set up by Russia and Kazakhstan. The large amount of charter capital has made it difficult for new members to join the bank's founding charter, he said. As a result, the bank "is considering the issue of providing countries with loans so that they can join the bank's founding charter," he said.

Belarus could become a founder of the bank in the near future, he said.

"This issue is being studied in Belarus. It hasn't been ruled out that Belarus could join the founder's charter of the Eurasian Development Bank," Kazakov said.

EDB CEO Igor Finogemov said earlier that the EDB would add 3-4 new members over the next 3-4 years. The bank is holding active talks with Kyrgyzstan and Belarus, and Tajikistan and Armenia have also expressed interest in joining the EDB. Kyrgyzstan will likely be the first to join among the aforementioned countries, he said.

The bank was set up with the purpose of facilitating the robust development of the two countries' economies, sustaining high rates of economic growth, expanding mutual trade, developing other forms of economic relations, and encouraging direct investment, including on the basis of private-state partnership. The bank's main line of business will be to finance investment projects in both states.

The second session of the coordinating board of the CIS Financial and Banking Council is being held in Minsk.