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BRICS could pool foreign reserves: S. Africa

BRICS emerging nations could pool their vast holdings of foreign currency to prop each other up in times of hardship, South Africa's finance minister said Wednesday.

Pravin Gordhan said members could use the pooled foreign exchange reserves to "support each other at times of balance of payments or currency crisis."

Speaking one month before South Africa hosts a summit of fellow BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, Indian and China -- Gordhan made the suggestion during his annual budget.

Gordhan said that collectively BRICS countries hold reserves totalling $4.5 trillion -- most belonging to China.

The minister also said that work was underway to create an insurance risk pool to provide alternatives sources of insurance and reinsurance.

At the meeting BRICS nations are also expected to discuss the establishment of a joint development bank.

The BRICS summit will be held in Durban on March 26 and 27.