Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China hosted the signing ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new international financial institution backed by at least 57 founding members.
China will hold a 30.34 per cent stake making it the largest shareholder of the bank, China's Finance Ministry said. This gives China 26.06 per cent of the voting rights within the multilateral institution.
The new bank will rival US-led World Bank, and Japan-led Asian Development Bank.
The United States and Japan have stayed away from the bank, but several of their allies – United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea and Australia – are among the founding members.
India will be the second-biggest shareholder with a possible 10-15 per cent stake, whilst Russia and Germany will make up the third and fourth biggest member stakes.
China says it will not hold veto power within the AIIB, unlike the World Bank where the United States holds a limited veto.
Fifty countries signed the agreement. Another seven – Denmark, Kuwait, Malaysia, Philippines, the Netherlands, South Africa and Thailand – have not yet won domestic approval to join.
China’s Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said at the ceremony that he was confident the institution could start functioning before the end of the year.
The AIIB’s authorised capital stock would be US$ 100 billion.
According to experts, the AIIB gives China opportunities to expand its economic influence in the world commensurate with its role as the world’s second largest economy.