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This collection was collated by Yuriy Zaytsev as teaching material on the FDI from the BRICS course at the Institute of Development Studies.
Session 8. The volatility of private
capital flows in developing
countries and the potential role of
BRICS development bank to counter
pro-cyclicality of investments
FDI from the BRICS
Session Overview
1. The reasons of volatility of private capital flows
in developing countries;
2. The role of mechanisms to counter the procyclical pattern that characterizes private capital
3. The role of BRICS development bank in
international development cooperation:
– “South-South cooperation” framework,
– Bank’s role in counter-cyclical prudential regulations.
BRICS Development Bank: the
emergence of idea
• The incentive:
– To create a development finance institution not dominated
by developed countries
– To meet the gap in lack of resources,
– To address instability of the private capital flows in
developing countries.
• Will the BRICS Bank change “development” paradigm?
– Directly - through the way it operates as a public,
multilateral development bank.
• Will be BRICS Bank different?
– Indirectly - through its wider impacts on the development
cooperation system.
BRICS Bank functions
Lending to the sectors:
– Commercial banks focus on the most profitable activities, but development is not always a
question of profit;
– Infrastructure and agriculture are other key sectors that commercial banks tend to neglect;
– Some key sectors, such as SME’s, are not particularly profitable;
– Lending small amounts to lots of small firms is far less appealing than lending large amounts
to a few large firms.
Providing the right type of finance:
– Infrastructure projects need long-term finance, but commercial banks are very bad at
providing this;
– Development banks can provide long-term financing;
– Development banks may also lend at below market rates when high social returns are
achievable, but financial returns are low.
Consider the broader public good when taking decisions:
– Ensuring good wages are paid and human rights respected may not increase a project’s
financial returns, but are important for the broader public good.
BRICS Development Bank Indicators*
Sectors Indicators:
– the focus will be infrastructure, where there is a huge funding gap.
– The BRICS countries need USD4.5 trillion of investment over the next 5 years;
– the infrastructure financing gap in Africa is USD50 billion per year.
Financing mechanisms indicators:
– Public banks in some BRICS countries have shown a greater willingness to provide
concessional loans than the World Bank and RDBs.
– Brazil played an important counter-cyclical financing role in the 2007-8 crisis, and are the main
sources of long-term finance.
– Importantly, the BRICS bank is likely to be less ideologically fixated on providing finance at
market rates than current institutions.
Non-financial aspects of lending indicators:
What will local communities have in projects?
What weight will be given to human rights and other social factors?
Will potential projects’ real environmental impact be taken into account when
taking decisions?
How transparent will the Bank be in its operations?
*Suggested by Stephen Spratt
BRICS Development Bank: the way
• Will the BRICS provide capital in line with their economic weight, or
equal amounts?
• Will voting rights reflect these different contributions, or other
• Will non-BRIC countries have in the Bank’s activities?
• How will be the Bank be financed beyond its initial capitalization?
• How broad or narrow will the bank’s mandate be in terms of
countries, sectors, and potential financing instruments, including
concessional finance?
• What role will non-financial factors play in its lending decisions?
• How will its performance be assessed?
NB: The World Bank will have a serious competitor for the first time.
The volatility of private capital flows in developing countries and the
potential role of BRICS development bank to counter pro-cyclicality of
• At the current stage several options are available for developing countries
to counter the pro-cyclical pattern that characterizes private capital flows.
– designing mechanisms to encourage more stable private flows (countercyclical guarantees) or that distributing better the risk faced developing
countries throughout the business cycle;
– introducing prudential capital accounts regulations and adopting countercyclical prudential regulations for the domestic financial system.
• Not all of the above mentioned mechanisms are effectively used in
developing countries.
• Moreover, many of them do not have such institutions, which could
support the development and effective use of these mechanisms (e.g., in
the development of domestic bonds market), as well as to exercise
prudential regulations on the capital account and counter-cyclical
prudential regulations.
• BRICS development bank as a new MDB could meet this gap.
Why does macroeconomic volatility appear to be
especially harmful for the poor?
• Poor have the least access to financial
– difficulty in making diversification the risks
associated with their income, which is often based
on a narrow set of sources;
• Direct affect by changes in government
– Health and education;
– Procyclical fiscal policy.
Financial integration
• Benefits for developing countries:
– Simultaneous to improve governance, transparency,
and financial-sector regulation;
– Moving to more flexible exchange rate regimes
alleviate the risks;
• Excessive reliance on fixed exchange rate regimes has been a
major contributory factor to financial crises in emergingmarket countries over the past fifteen years;
– Countries that consistently face problems associated
with government debt are more likely to benefit from
financial globalization if their governments
simultaneously take measures to avoid an excessive
buildup of debt.