Leaders of the so-called BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have started formal negotiations over the formation of a new development bank to fund infrastructure, which some commentators believe could rival the World Bank.
It would be the first formal institution of the BRICS group.
Following discussions at a BRICS summit in Durban this week, South African president Jacob Zuma said: "We are satisfied that the establishment of a new development bank is feasible. We have decided to enter formal negotiations to establish a BRICS-led new development bank."
He said the bank would help the BRICS economies co-operate with "other emerging markets and developing countries in the future".