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AIIB approves 1st equity investment, 2 loans for infrastructure projects

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-15 17:17
JEJU ISLAND - The China-initiated Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on Thursday approved its first equity investment and two loans totaling $324 million.

The AIIB's board of directors approved the bank's first equity investment of $150 million that will be used to help attract the much needed private investment capital for infrastructure projects in India, according to the press release by the AIIB.

The two loans of 174 million dollars will support transport and power projects in Georgia and Tajikistan.

"Approving our first equity investment is another milestone for the Bank and will enhance our potential to source and fund high quality, private sector projects," said DJ Pandian, vice president and chief investment officer of the AIIB.

The equity investment and two loans, approved Thursday, aligned with the AIIB's priorities to support sustainable infrastructure, improve cross-border connectivity and mobilize private capital.

The $150 million equity investment will be made in the India Infrastructure Fund, which aims to invest in mid-cap infrastructure companies in India.

It will expand the AIIB's equity and loan deal sourcing pipelines in the private sector via its equity participation in the Fund.

The investment will benefit local infrastructure development by enhancing private capital inflows from global long-term investors, such as public pension funds, endowments and insurance companies.

The loan of $114 million will be provided for the Georgia Batumi Bypass Road project, which is the AIIB's first loan to Georgia. It was co-financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The project aimed to improve regional connectivity and efficiency of road transport along the East-West Highway in Georgia.

The project will construct a new, two-lane road approximately 14.3 km long in a key section of the East-West Highway that skirts the port city of Batumi.

The loan of $60 million will be offered for the Tajikistan Nurek Hydropower Rehabilitation Project Phase I. It will be co-financed with the World Bank.

The project aimed to rehabilitate and restore the generating capacity of three units of the Nurek hydropower plant, improve their efficiency and strengthen the safety of Nurek dam operations.

South Korea will host the second annual meeting of the AIIB's board of governors for two days from Friday at the country's southern resort island of Jeju.

The board of directors meeting was held before the annual meeting of governors. The first annual meeting of the board of governors was held in Beijing last year.

Officially launched in January 2016, the Beijing-based AIIB is a multilateral development bank initiated by China and supported by a wide range of countries and regions, which will provide financing for the infrastructure improvement in Asia.

Catalyzing private capital was broadly acknowledged as a critical component to addressing the infrastructure gap in Asia.

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