Chavez, colleagues, to launch rival bank to IMF, World Bank

Seven presidents are to meet later Sunday in Buenos Aires to launch the Bank of the South, intended as a regional alternative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Chavez, colleagues, to launch rival bank to IMF, World Bank
Host President Nestor Kirchner is to be joined by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, a major actor in forming the bank, and presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil; Tabare Vazquez of Uruguay; Rafael Correa of Ecuador; Nicanor Duarte Frutos of Paraguay; and Evo Morales of Bolivia.

Sunday will be Kirchner's last day in office before he steps aside for the inauguration of his successor, his wife and president-elect Cristina Fernandez. The presidents are expected to stay on for the inauguration on Monday.

The foundation principles of the Bank of the South - an initiative of Chavez - were agreed in early November in Rio de Janeiro by the finance ministers of the countries involved.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe requested to join the bank in October, although he has since fallen out with Chavez.

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega told Brazilian daily O Estado de Sao Paulo that the bank will not "finance adventures" and will benefit the region.

The Bank of the South is set to have its headquarters in Caracas, with further offices in Buenos Aires and La Paz. It is scheduled to be operational in early 2008, with an estimated initial capital of 7 billion dollars.

The bank is planned to finance development and integration projects with a low rate of interest.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Aralık 2007, 18:39
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