AIIB awarded third global AAA credit rating

Bank hopes the top marks will help realise its ambition to ‘transform Asia’s infrastructure landscape’.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has received its third triple-A credit rating after Standard & Poor’s awarded it top marks, in line with reports from Moody’s and Fitch.

The three agencies have given the Beijing-based multilateral lender the highest possible rating and a stable outlook.

S&P said in its research update on AIIB that the bank has been granted a very strong capital endowment from 80 sovereigns globally and stands to have “a significant impact in supporting Asia’s large infrastructure needs”. Over the next three to five years, the bank will look to establish a track record and enhance its operational set-up.

“The ‘AAA’ intrinsic rating reflects Fitch’s long-term projections for capitalisation, risks and liquidity indicators, based on the bank’s business plan,” said Fitch. “The AIIB has been endowed with a substantial capital base which, in Fitch’s view, will support the projected rapid expansion in lending; exposure to risk will be mitigated by a comprehensive set of policies and by high-quality governance.”

“AIIB enjoys an excellent level of liquidity and should benefit from easy access to capital markets,” Fitch added, announcing the rating last week.

Moody’s, issuing the rating late last month, expects the AIIB’s capital base to remain very large in relation to its assets through the ramp-up of its balance sheet over the next 10 years, supporting a stable outlook. Its subscribed capital of $100 billion is already larger than that of many AAA-rated multilateral banks and it should provide ample financial capacity to support the bank’s expansion of activities, it noted.

The bank’s president Jin Liqun and chief financial officer Thierry de Longuemar, speaking on Tuesday at an industry event in Hong Kong hosted by the city’s Monetary Authority, said the ratings would make it easier for the lender to tap the capital markets to fund its activities.

“Now that we’ve received top ratings by [three] leading rating agencies, we are better positioned to move forward with our ambitious plans to transform Asia’s infrastructure landscape,” said Jin.