India a top borrower from AIIB in 2017

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Beijing, Jan 11 (PTI): India has emerged as a top borrower from the China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with USD 1.5 billion worth of loans last year and USD three billion more in the pipeline.

India’s Ambassador Gautam Bambawale on Thursday met AIIB president Jin Liqun in Beijing and held in-depth talks on deepening India’s engagements with the bank.

They also exchanged views on the preparations for the next annual meet of AIIB which will be held in Mumbai in June this year, the Indian Embassy said in a statement.

The vice president and chief investment officer of the bank, DJ Pandian also took part in the meeting.

Bambawale’s meeting with Jin, a former vice finance minister of China assumed significance as the China-sponsored bank has granted USD 1.5 billion worth of loans for various infrastructure projects last year the highest compared to all the countries, officials told PTI here.

Next to India, Indonesia has emerged as the second largest borrower with about USD 600 million loans.

Significantly in the pipeline for lending for India by the 84-member bank this year included USD 3.5 billion worth of projects including Mumbai Metro, Andhra Pradesh new capital Amaravati’s development and irrigation network in West Bengal.

India is the second largest shared holder in the bank which has an authorised capital of USD 100 billion.

China is the largest shareholder with 26.06 per cent voting shares in the bank. India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5 per cent followed by Russia 5.93 per cent and Germany with 4.5 per cent.

Borrowing from AIIB is preferred by a number of countries as it charges about one to 1.5 per cent interest with long term repayment including five-year grace period.

The AIIB board viewed Indian projects favourably due to India’s economic credentials as well as well-prepared project reports, officials said.

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