Development bank EBRD adds India to sprawling membership

LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has added India to its growing list of members, it said on Tuesday, its latest move to harness increasing emerging market spending power two years after China joined the bank.

India becomes the 69th shareholder of the EBRD, which has expanded its reach considerably over the last decade.

Set up by governments in 1991 to invest in the ex-communist economies of eastern Europe, it now operates in more than 35 countries from Morocco to Mongolia.

India - like China - will only be providing money rather than receiving it with its new membership. It may, however, benefit indirectly through EBRD projects or if Indian companies invest alongside the bank.

The London-based bank has already cooperated with Indian firms on joint projects worth nearly 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), it says, including investments with Tata, SREI and Jindal.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said after the bank's existing shareholder governments backed the move: "This is an important step in the relationship between the EBRD and India, allowing us to build further on already very close ties."

($1 = 0.8100 euros) (Reporting by Marc Jones Editing by Mark Potter)