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Finance

China to set AIIB founding countries as early as April 15

BOAO, China -- China expects to officially pin down the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as soon as April 15.

     To be set up this year, the bank already has more than half as many members as the rival Asian Development Bank, which has 67. Many Asian and European nations have shown an interest in getting on board. On Thursday, South Korea and Turkey both announced plans to join.

     "Even now, we're getting a number of inquiries about applications," says a Chinese Finance Ministry source.

     While China will close the door on applications for prospective founding members at the end of March, they are expected to keep coming in until just before the deadline.

     Hearing the opinions of existing members will take two weeks, so the number of founding countries will be set on April 15 at the earliest, said Chinese Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin.

     Indonesia plans to bid to host the AIIB headquarters. But member countries had already agreed last fall to have the bank housed in Beijing, Shi said.

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