China finance heavyweight to become AIIB's first head

Jin Liqun, who formerly served at ADB, the World Bank and CIC, has been chosen as the Beijing-led infrastructure bank's president-designate.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has named Jin Liqun as its first president-elect, according to a statement by the Beijing-based multilateral lender. The decision was made by member shareholders at a negotiators' meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia's capital, on Monday.

Currently the secretary-general of the multilateral interim secretariat for establishing the AIIB, Jin, 66, has a track record in engaging in international financial and economic affairs.

He was the former Vice-Minister of Finance in China, and served as ranking vice president of the Asian Development Bank and as alternative executive director for China at the World Bank. Jin also worked at the China Investment Corporation, a $747 billion sovereign wealth fund, and China International Capital Corporation, an investment bank.

Jin’s post as the bank’s first president will be re-confirmed by the board of governors at its inaugural meeting later this year.

The president-designate will take up his duties on September 1, 2015, while the president’s term of office will span five years.

Expected to be operational by the end of 2015 with a capital of $100 billion, AIIB aims to provide financial support for infrastructure development and regional connectivity in Asia.

China is the the institution’s largest shareholder with an approximately 30 percent stake, followed by India (8.52 percent) and Russia (7.5 percent). Other shareholders include the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia, who joined last spring despite warning by the US about the institution's governance. 

The Bank’s Articles of Agreement has since been signed by 51 of the Bank’s 57 prospective founding members and remain open for signature until December 31, 2015.