* BRICS leaders to meet in South Africa next week
* Reserves pool, infrastructure bank to be discussed
* Pool could initially total up to $120 billion
By Lesley Wroughton and Alonso Soto
WASHINGTON/BRASILIA, March 21 (Reuters) - Leaders from the world’s major emerging economies are likely to endorse plans at a summit next week to create a joint foreign exchange reserves pool and an infrastructure bank for developing countries, senior emerging market officials said on Thursday.
Leaders from China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa, known as the BRICS, will gather in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa, on March 26 and 27.
The officials said the leaders will discuss reports prepared by working groups led by Brazil on the proposed reserves pool, and another by India and South Africa on the creation of a joint development bank, which would provide financing to emerging and developing economies for infrastructure projects.
“There are still some differences among the countries, but we believe that the BRICS will give the green light to both projects,” said a senior Brazilian government official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak about the matters publicly.
The official told Reuters the proposed contingency reserve arrangement would initially hold between $90 billion and $120 billion, although a figure was unlikely to be included in a final statement by the leaders.