AIIB said that it "aims to develop infrastructure as an asset class, develop debt capital markets for infrastructure and promote the integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles in fixed income investments in Emerging Asia".
AIIB said that it hoped its fund would mobilise institutional investors' private capital for infrastructure by developing infrastructure as an asset class and developing the sustainable debt capital market in Asia. It said it wanted to facilitate ESG investment strategies in Asia and launch an ESG markets plan to encourage more market participants, as well as providing finance to infrastructure-related issuers via subscriptions to primary issuances.
The bank will use the fund to build awareness of Asian ESG investment, get involved with market participants and to "share knowledge", with its ultimate aim to establish a more vigorous ESG market in the whole region.
“By setting up this portfolio, we hope to develop a proof of concept that over time will mobilise other like-minded investors to join us in cultivating an ESG market in Asia,” said AIIB director general for investment operations Dong-Ik Lee.
AIIB was established in 2016 and is a Beijing-based multilateral development bank aiming to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. According to a Forbes report, ESG investing is around $20 trillion around the globe and equals a quarter of all professionally managed assets globally.