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AIIB names five initial investment areas

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will initially invest in five main areas: energy, transport, logistics and rural and urban development, China Daily said04 Dec 2015

Chen Huan, chief officer of the AIIB's multilateral interim secretariat told the 6th China-South Korea banking development forum that these initial five areas will later be expanded to include education and healthcare, to promote social development, China Daily said.

The bank will issue bonds worth $100 million to $500 million in its first year, Chen said. Initially, the bonds are likely to be non-rated by credit agencies.  

The AIIB is still waiting for approval by its board of directors on its plans, but Chen said it expects to meet the requirements for operation by the end of 2015. Twelve of the 57 founding members have approved the bank's charter so far, and those account for more than 40% of the total capital, he said, according to China Daily.

India and Russia are likely to approve the charter by the end of December, Chen said.

The aim of the AIIB is to mobilise social capital, Chen told China Daily.

"The policy framework and investment environment is fairly poor in underdeveloped countries and needs improvement. That's why it is necessary to set up an international financial institution like the AIIB. We will go to these countries first to handle the risk and solve the problems associated with government policies, thus guiding commercial banks to participate in the region's infrastructure projects," he said.

Cao Honghui, vice-president of the research institute at China Development Bank who was involved in the development of the AIIB, told the forum that loans will be the major form of investment for the bank, China Daily said.

However, it is possible that the AIIB will set up investment funds or provide guarantee services and equity investment services at a later date, Cao said.

The AIIB was launched in Beijing in 2014, with the aim of boosting investment in infrastructure in Asia. The bank was established formally by the member countries signing the Articles of Agreement in June 2015 and will be operational by the end of this year.

The Asia Development Bank believes that US$8 trillion needs to be spent between 2010 and 2020, while other estimates suggest that by 2025 the region will need to spend US$5 trillion annually.

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