“We’re going to meet next week in Washington and we’re going to talk about what to do to help the European Union get out of this situation,” Mr Mantega told Brazilian reporters on Tuesday.
Any concentrated joint effort by the Bric nations to support the eurozone would mark a further symbolic shift in the momentum of the global economy towards the largest emerging markets.
China has the world’s largest foreign reserves – at $3,200bn – while India has more than $320bn of reserves and Brazil over $350bn, providing the grouping with plenty of firepower to support the eurozone’s single currency.
With China already gradually diversifying some of its holdings into euros, a co-ordinated gesture by the grouping would be more symbolic, but would still be welcomed by markets, economists said.
“Brazil has a huge accumulation of foreign exchange reserves, which essentially does give it the power to get involved,” said Flavia Cattan-Naslausky, currency strategist with RBS Securities. “Brazil is the ‘B’ in the Bric – it should show its face.”
Mr Mantega did not provide details of any proposals. However, the Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico reported that the officials would discuss investing more of their countries’ international reserves in the sovereign debt of Europe’s stronger economies, such as Germany.
The newspaper quoted an unnamed official as saying that while the returns on euro-denominated debt might be better than those on US treasuries, Bric governments might have trouble selling the idea to a sceptical public, given the turmoil in European debt markets.
Mr Volpon said what was missing in the present crisis was the type of co-ordinated response from the Group of 20 leading nations that had helped rescue the global economy after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.
Countries not involved in the crisis this time round have been more determined to protect themselves from the fallout, said Mr Volpon, with Switzerland setting a ceiling on its exchange rate and others, such as Brazil, implementing currency controls. “Everybody’s in their bunkers and what we’ve seen so far is really these sorts of very protective actions,” he said.
“In terms of sentiment, [a co-ordinated Brics response] may give the market hope that policy co-ordination is back, and the market really needs that to believe that we are not going into some kind of Lehmanesque event.”
Ms Cattan-Naslausky said people should not expect an aggressive move by Brazil to bring its currency reserves to bear on the problems in Europe. “These guys have been very conservative with their foreign exchange reserve diversification and that will still be the case.”
If the Brics do reach an agreement on helping Europe, it will not be their first move to foster closer financial co-operation among themselves.
In April, the development banks of the Brics plus South Africa signed an accord to bolster development lending among their economies.