Asian infrastructure bank is born in Beijing

China has hosted the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new international lender – set to rival the US-controlled World Bank and Asian Development Bank – will finance Asian energy, transport and infrastructure projects.

Delegates from 50 countries signed the founding articles on 29 June at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. The articles determine each member’s share and the bank’s initial capital.

Japan and the US, which oppose the AIIB, have not joined, but key US allies, including UK, Germany, Australia and South Korea are among the founding members.

China has 26.06% of the voting rights, with India holding a possible 10-15% stake, and Russia and Germany as the third and fourth biggest members

Most Asian countries and countries from the Middle East and Latin America have joined, with the launch of the Beijing-led bank being hailed as a diplomatic and strategic success for China.

The AIIB will begin with authorised capital of $50bn, eventually to be raised to $100bn.

China will hold a 30.34% stake making it the largest shareholder of the bank, Reuters quotes China’s Finance Ministry as saying.

This would give China 26.06% of the voting rights, and veto over major decisions, which require 75% majority, notes The Financial Times.

India will be the second-biggest shareholder with a possible 10-15% stake, while Russia and Germany will make up the third and fourth biggest member stakes, Reuters news agency reports.

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said on Monday he was confident the AIIB could start functioning before the end of the year, according to Reuters.

Image: AIIB’s interim officers at a meeting in 2014 (Wikimedia Commons)

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