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China-backed AIIB eyes more 2019 bond sales after dollar debut

By Karin Strohecker

LONDON (Reuters) - The Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is planning to tap capital markets again later in the year following this week's bond debut, the lender's Chief Financial Office Thierry de Longuemar said on Thursday.

The AIIB priced its first bond on Thursday - a dollar-denominated 2.5 billion five-year issue which attracted orders of over $4.4 billion.

"We will certainly come back - we will receive in a few months about $20 billion in capital," de Longuemar told Reuters. "We need to leverage this."

The AII has 97 members and was launched in January 2016 to help meet Asia's infrastructure needs. Since starting its operations, it has financed some $8 billion in projects, mostly in Asia but also in countries such as Egypt.


One or more issues could be launched in the remainder of the year, while the AIIB would aim to sell several billion dollars of bonds in the next few years in various maturities to build a yield curve, he said.

While the U.S. dollar would remain the dominant currency, a foray into domestic currency bond issuance was not far away.

"We will start tapping local currency markets probably at the end of this year, and certainly in 2020 - markets such as the Indian rupee market," said de Longuemar, adding 25 percent of the bank's loan books were to borrowers in Indian rupees.

The bank was also looking at issuing in Australian dollars potentially, he said, adding much would depend on pricing dynamics after the inaugural bond matched the World Bank's 5-year dollar bond which was launched in March.

By geography, nearly half of the issue was snapped up by Asian investors while EMEA based buyers made up 35 percent and the remained went to the Americas. Central banks made up two thirds of the buyers, the AIIB said.


Moody's, Fitch and S&P all have a triple A rating on the bond..



(Reporting by Karin Strohecker; Editing by Alison Williams)