Australia Pledges A$930M to Become 6th-Largest AIIB Shareholder

Australia will contribute A$930 million ($720 million) of paid-in capital to become the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s sixth-largest shareholder, Treasurer Joe Hockey said.

The decision to join the AIIB, which will have paid-in capital of $20 billion and total authorized capital of $100 billion, comes after discussions with “key partners around the world,” Hockey said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday.

After initial concerns, Australia is now confident that China “will ensure that there is appropriate transparency and accountability in the bank,” Hockey said in a separate interview on Sky News on Wednesday.

The decision comes after Australia’s most-important ally, the U.S., expressed unease over governance and transparency at the AIIB. The new institution is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s push to expand his nation’s influence in Asia.

Officials from Japan and the U.S., including Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, understood Australia’s position to join the bank, Hockey said.

The institution is expected to be operational by the end of the year, Hockey said, adding he will attend a signing ceremony for founding members in Beijing on June 29.

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