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General
1. What is AIIB’s background?

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank (MDB) established by international treaty and headquartered in Beijing, China, founded to bring countries together to address Asia’s infrastructure funding gap, estimated at USD26 trillion through 2030.1 Our core principles are openness, transparency, independence and accountability.

2. What is the nature of AIIB's membership?

AIIB is open to shareholders who are dedicated to promoting economic and social development across Asia and beyond. Our membership is open to members of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the Asian Development Bank. Please see our current membership here.

3. What is AIIB’s mission?

AIIB’s primary focus is on financing projects that benefit the economic and social development of Asia. Projects should support sustainable infrastructure, cross-border connectivity and private capital mobilization.

4. Are there any specific features that differentiate AIIB from the other MDBs?

Projects can be based in any member shareholder, as long as the project will deliver benefits to the Asian region. All financings must meet the conditions set out in AIIB’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF), which ensures that all projects are contributing to sustainable development.

5. Where is there evidence that AIIB projects are compliant with the latest in socially responsible, environmentally-friendly lending practices?

AIIB developed its ESF, including the ESP, based on consultation with Member Governments, other MDBs and a wide range of external stakeholders, including NGOs and CSOs. The ESF was developed with consideration given to the objectives of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Accord.

6. What is AIIB’s credit rating?

AIIB is rated triple-A by Standard & Poors, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings. Our credit strength is based on several factors; 1) significant subscribed capital base of USD100 billion, of which USD20 billion is paid-in (among the highest in absolute terms of all MDBs), 2) conservative financial risk management and liquidity management policies, managed to maintain the triple-A ratings, 3) committed global shareholder base, 4) preferred creditor treatment, 5) diversified loan portfolio across sectors and countries, and 6) experienced management team.

7. In five years’ time, what is the forecasted distribution of loans by sector and by country?

There are no concrete forecasts over a five-year horizon, as AIIB’s portfolio is evolving. Our lending is demand-driven and depends on the financial sustainability of project proposals. AIIB has not put any hard limits on investments by sector as long as AIIB’s risk exposure remains within allowed limits. The only hard limits we maintain on lending are 1) no single country exposure may be more than 50 percent of total available capital, and 2) the sum of the top three country exposures may not account for more than 90 percent of total available capital. In terms of sectors, we expect investments will be made mainly in the energy, transport and urban/water sectors.

8. What is the forecasted scope and usage of the Project Preparation Special Fund over the coming years?

AIIB deploys funds available via the Project Preparation Special Fund facility on terms and conditions consistent with the purpose and functions of AIIB. These funds are managed separately and are entirely independent from our Ordinary Resources. Currently, AIIB operations one Project Preparation Special Fund facility, with contributions from China, Hong Kong-China, Korea and the United Kingdom. Monies are transferred to AIIB as grants and do not represent contributions from all members.

9. Is AIIB connected to the other MDBs?

AIIB is working with other MDBs to learn from their experiences and enhance AIIB’s operating efficiency, product offerings and reduce costs. We have signed a co-financing framework agreement with the World Bank. We have also signed Memorandums on joint cooperation and co-financing with: the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and Inter-American Investment Corporation, the Islamic Development Bank Group, the New Development Bank and the World Bank Group.



1 Source: "Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs", ADB 2017

Debt Issuance and Treasury
1. What is the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank's (AIIB) borrowing program?

AIIB’s funding program is expected to be several billion US Dollars per annum over the next several years of capital markets issuance. Funding needs are expected to rise gradually to reach circa USD10 billion per annum by the mid-2020s.

2. Will AIIB bonds enjoy the same status and debt issuance platforms as other MDB bonds?

AIIB shares a similar general status and exemptions as other MDBs. For example, Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has agreed that supervisors may allow banks to apply a 0% risk weight to claims on AIIB (BIS Press Release: here) and AIIB is not subject to taxation by the member shareholders in which it operates. We are currently in the process of establishing our principal funding platforms.

3. In what currency sectors are you planning to issue?

AIIB is a US Dollar-based institution and our first public benchmark bond was issued in USD on May 16, 2019. The SEC registered, USD 2.5 billion five-year bond attracted over USD 4.4 billion of orders from over 90 investors across the globe representing 27 countries. The Funding Team’s core objective is to be viewed as a flexible, transparent and responsive issuer, providing liquid public offerings and reverse-inquiry, tailor-made investment solutions. We will diversify by adding further debt issuance programs allowing us to add other currencies and structures to meet the needs of a global investor base.

4. With which investors are you seeking to engage?

We are looking to attract a broad range of global investors to our funding program. These are expected to range from central banks, sovereign wealth funds and bank treasuries, to fund managers, corporate treasuries, insurance companies and pension funds.

5. Is AIIB targeting the development of a liquid benchmark curve of outstanding debt?

Within the constraints of a limited borrowing need over the next few years, AIIB will consider the value of creating a liquid benchmark curve if underlying market conditions and investor demand are supportive. Given our policies dictate that we cannot have more than 30% of all debt redemptions falling due within any single 12-month period on a rolling basis, we can reasonably expect to issue across different maturities.

6. Will AIIB have access to the derivatives markets to manage risk?

AIIB has ISDA master agreements in place with several market counterparties and is working to bring further relevant counterparties online to meet the bank’s needs.

7. Will AIIB provide a Kangaroo, Kauri or Islamic Finance Program and/or open a Uridashi Shelf?

Our product range, both in terms of currency and issuance platforms, will evolve over time to reflect investor appetite. Should cost-effective opportunities be available in niche sectors on a sustainable basis, AIIB will consider creating dedicated programs to access any discrete liquidity pools.

8. AIIB’s lending operations support sustainable development, within the context of the Environmental and Social Framework. Will you offer Green Bonds or "Theme Bonds" in future?

The integrity of AIIB’s ESF, which stands at the core of our investment philosophy, ensures that all AIIB financings can be considered "sustainable". We have adopted "Use of Proceeds" language for our bond documentation that dictates that all financings must comply with the principals our stringent environment and social criteria. All AIIB bonds are Sustainable Development Bonds and we would therefore expect that all our debt instruments will be of interest to SRI investor portfolios.

9. Are dealers committed to making markets in AIIB bonds?

Our underwriters are expected to deliver two-way liquidity over the life of the bonds on which they serve as syndicate members, subject to underlying liquidity trends. While AIIB does not maintain formal market-making agreements with its banks, we consider on-going dealer support for our outstanding debt as one supporting factor when awarding mandates for new issues.

10. Will AIIB operate a buyback facility for its debt products?

AIIB is committed to offering investors and dealers a buyback price for non-benchmark debt securities. Such prices will be based on prevailing market levels. For any buybacks, we will only transact with approved financial counterparties (e.g., our dealers and underwriters), to ensure our operational risk is minimized.

11. Where is liquidity invested?

AIIB’s Treasury invests in a range of eligible assets. These include bank deposits, trust funds and eligible, liquid USD securities. Deposits with banks must be with institutions holding a minimum A minus rating. AIIB cannot hold more than 15% of total liquid assets in any single financial institution.

Eligible securities issued by sovereigns, sovereign agencies and MDBs must hold a minimum A rating. Corporate and asset-backed securities maturing in 13 months or longer must be rated AAA and when maturing in less than 13 months, corporate and asset-backed securities must be rated A-1 or P-1. Investments in money market or mutual funds are only permissible when the underlying funds invest in AAA-rated instruments.

12. Who is your regulator?

As an MDB, AIIB has no national regulator.

13. Where can I find more information on AIIB bonds?

AIIB will list public offerings on a major international exchange. Pricing should be available there on a regular basis. Price transparency and bond details should also be visible via electronic media, such as Bloomberg under the AIIB ticker: <AIIB>. AIIB’s website contains a dedicated section for Treasury activities, www.aiib.org/treasury, and includes a broad range of investor marketing materials. Further questions may be addressed to the Funding Team email: treasury@aiib.org.

LIBOR Transition
1. What is LIBOR?

LIBOR, or the London Interbank Offered Rate, is a global benchmark interest rate for financial products dating back to 1986. It is the result of daily submissions for periods from overnight to 12 months by a reference panel of between 11 and 16 contributor banks for each LIBOR currency. LIBOR is then calculated and published for each relevant currency and tenor (GBP, USD, JPY, CHF and EUR—but only for legacy contracts).

2. Why is LIBOR being replaced?

The financial crisis of 2009 revealed weaknesses in LIBOR as it behaved inconsistently and unpredictably compared to other observable market rates. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a regulatory body in the United Kingdom and regulator of LIBOR, has called for a market transition away from LIBOR and to a more robust reference rate. Other regulatory bodies have also been supportive of a transition away from LIBOR because reform efforts have fallen short of agreed standards for financial benchmarks.

3. Which currencies and reference rates are affected by the LIBOR transition?

LIBOR for all four currencies (GBP, EUR, JPY, CHF) is expected to cease publication from January 1, 2022; LIBOR for USD is expected to cease publication from July 1, 2023.

4. In addition to EUR LIBOR, is EURIBOR impacted by the transition?

Regulators have not expressed an intention to replace EURIBOR, or the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, which has been reformed and will continue to be published by the European Money Markets Institute (EMMI).

5. What will replace LIBOR?

The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) convened by the US Federal Reserve to oversee the transition process away from LIBOR for USD, has named the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) as its recommended alternative to USD LIBOR.

6. What is SOFR?

SOFR, or Secured Overnight Financing Rate, is a US Treasuries overnight repo financing rate which has been published daily by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (NY Fed) at 8 a.m. Eastern Time since April 2018. SOFR is calculated as a volume-weighted median of transaction-level data from tri-party treasury repo collected by BNY Mellon, general collateral repo data collected by the Depositary Trust and Clearing Corporation, and bilateral treasury repo data collected by the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation.

7. What is a US Treasuries overnight repo financing rate?

It is the interest rate a party will pay to a borrower overnight after posting US Treasury securities as collateral.

8. Why was the SOFR selected to replace LIBOR?

SOFR meets the following requirements for international benchmark regulation:

  • Benchmark Quality—it is highly liquid, involves a large volume (difficult to manipulate) and is very resilient;
  • Methodological Quality—it uses standardized terms for data inclusion, transparency and data availability; and
  • Accountability and Governance—it utilizes a process and governance structures which comply with International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Principles and is produced by the New York Fed as a public good.

9. How does SOFR differ from LIBOR?

SOFR differs from LIBOR in that it is secured (i.e., it has no credit element) and it is an overnight rate (i.e., it is not a term rate). SOFR-based interest rates are therefore determined for a term by observation daily in arrears, meaning the total interest payable will not be known until the end of the interest period; unlike LIBOR, where the total interest payable at the end of the interest period is known in advance.

10. Will AIIB offer SOFR loans that reference a forward-looking SOFR term rate?

Currently, AIIB only plans to offer a SOFR compounded-in-arrears product and has no plans to issue a SOFR term rate product, although it may consider issuing one once the terms are well defined and there is demand from borrowers.

A forward-looking SOFR term rate is not yet recommended for use by mid-2021, according to a March 23, 2021 announcement by the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC), a group of private-market participants convened by the Federal Reserve Board and the NY Fed in 2014 to help ensure a successful transition from U.S. dollar (USD) LIBOR to SOFR as a more robust reference rate. While a SOFR term rate may be developed in the future, progress on its development has not been satisfactory, and it is not certain that such a SOFR term rate would have a cost advantage to borrowers.

11. How is AIIB preparing for the LIBOR transition?

AIIB has established a LIBOR Transition Steering Group led by the Bank’s Chief Financial Officer to oversee the implementation of transitional arrangements with the Bank’s sovereign and nonsovereign clients, as soon as practicable, to facilitate the smooth transition to the LIBOR replacement rate. Part of the work involves preparing the Bank’s internal operations for the change, with primary emphasis on its IT systems and treasury operations.

12. How will AIIB’s Fixed Spread and Variable Spread sovereign-backed loans be affected by the LIBOR transition?

A new reference rate (i.e., SOFR for USD loans), including an adjustment spread to adjust for the differences between LIBOR and the replacement rate, will replace the six-month LIBOR for the Fixed Spread sovereign-backed loans.

The same methodology already used for calculating the borrowing cost for Variable Spread sovereign-backed loans (VSL)—the use of the weighted average cost of AIIB’s liabilities to price said borrowing cost—will remain the same.

13. How will the adjustment spread be calculated?

The replacement of LIBOR with a new reference rate will likely require an adjustment spread to be added to the replacement rate so as to reduce any transfer of value in existing contracts. Alternatives currently being considered by financial markets trade associations include dynamic adjustment until the market settles on a specific methodology, to a one-time adjustment. Adjustments may vary between derivatives contracts and loan contracts. The market adjustment will impact how AIIB transitions its derivatives and will directly influence the Bank’s cost of borrowing. AIIB must then determine how to appropriately adjust the spread of its loan products to also satisfy the aim of avoiding a transfer of value to or from its clients.

14. How will AIIB mitigate the impact of the LIBOR transition on existing USD loan agreements and those signed before the LIBOR replacement rate is known?

The Bank proposes to actively manage the transition process by creating transition provisions for new and existing loan contracts and engaging with sovereign and private sector borrowers and the wider community of lenders with a view to already putting these provisions in place so as to facilitate a quick and efficient transition to the LIBOR replacement rate when it is known.

15. How will existing contracts transition to the replacement rate? Will each loan agreement need to be amended?

AIIB will amend, with the approval of its Board of Directors, the standard or General Conditions present in each sovereign-backed loan. The Bank will then approach the counterparties to existing sovereign-backed loans with a view to securing their agreement to the adoption of the amended General Conditions. These amended General Conditions will also then apply to all new sovereign-backed loans. As for nonsovereign-backed loans, they will each be amended bilaterally.

16. Will there be any changes to AIIB’s policies for sovereign and sovereign-backed loans?

AIIB’s sovereign and sovereign-backed loans are covered by its Operational Policy on Financing and General Conditions for Sovereign-backed Loans. The General Conditions contain detailed definitions of reference rates and will need to be amended to facilitate the transition to the replacement benchmark rate when it is known. Further amendments to reflect the replacement of LIBOR will be made when the detailed terms of the replacement rate are known.

17. How will AIIB manage the LIBOR transition for syndicated loans (with other IFIs or commercial banks)?

The syndicate of financiers, including AIIB, and the borrower will need to agree on transition provisions and/or LIBOR replacement provisions. The existence of multiple lenders will mean that more entities are required to agree to such provisions before these can be implemented. AIIB is working with other multilateral development banks (MDBs) with a view to agreeing on a consensus approach to such provisions and anticipates that commercial banks will also take a similar approach over time.

18. What will happen to existing contracts with AIIB if the transition provisions are not agreed now or if LIBOR replacement provisions have not been agreed upon when the LIBOR replacement rate is known?

It will depend on the terms of each loan. Outcomes could include: (i) the last LIBOR benchmark rate published is permanently locked in as the benchmark rate; (ii) the LIBOR rate (if it is still being published) will still be used but it will no longer be a representative rate (known colloquially as “zombie” LIBOR); (iii) references rates quoted by other financial institutions (if they are prepared to provide such quotes, which may also not be representative) will be used; or (iv) the Bank’s actual cost of funds will be used. Some contracts may not be well designed for the discontinuance of LIBOR. It is recommended that contracts be updated to include LIBOR fallback language to ensure an orderly process. AIIB plans to update all contracts.

19. How can clients best manage the uncertainty associated with the transition?

Borrowers should take a proactive approach to identifying existing LIBOR exposures, discuss their existing agreements with their lenders and hedge providers and seek agreement on transitional arrangements at the soonest possible time so as to ensure they have arrangements in place. This will facilitate the transition to the LIBOR replacement rate when it is known.

20. How can clients ensure that their loans and hedging agreements, if any, match after the transition?

Different approaches are being considered in different jurisdictions. Clients will need to liaise with each lender and each hedge counterparty to determine exposures and impact how best to manage this.

Local Currency Financing
1. What currencies are available for AIIB Loans for nonsovereign-backed clients?

As of January 2021, AIIB can offer financings in multiple hard and local currencies. In addition to Australian Dollar (AUD), British Pound (GBP), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Chinese Renminbi (RMB), Euro (EUR), HK Dollar (HKD), Japanese Yen (JPY), Korean Won (KRW), Mexican Peso (MXN), New Zealand Dollar (NZD), Norwegian Krone (NOK), Singapore Dollar (SGD), Swedish Krona (SEK), Swiss Franc (CHF), and US Dollar (USD), operational currencies available to nonsovereign-backed clients and certain public sector entities are Bangladesh Taka (BDT), Egyptian Pound (EGP), Indian Rupee (INR), Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), Kazakhstan Tenge (KZT), Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), Philippine Peso (PHP), Russian Ruble (RUB), Thai Baht (THB), Turkish Lira (TRY), and Vietnamese Dong (VND). AIIB expects to add currencies, which will include both major non-USD hard currencies and local currencies based on AIIB’s ability to fund itself in those currencies.

2. Why would clients prefer to borrow in local currencies?

Local currency financing has several benefits for clients:

  • Reduction in earnings volatility due to FX movements,
  • Decrease of debt burden in case of local currency depreciation,
  • Reduced possibility of financial distress, and
  • Possibility of borrowing local currency in longer tenor.
3. Why is local currency financing of interest to AIIB?

Local currency financing has several benefits for AIIB:

  • Stronger credit of the loan portfolio,
  • Access to loan markets that only operate in the local currency, and
  • Expansion of the product range.
4. How does AIIB source local currencies for on-lending to clients?

AIIB uses the following approaches for its local currency funding:

  • Initially, AIIB will access back-to-back funding through swaps to finance a specific project.
  • At a later stage, AIIB may will rely on pool funding, where it maintains a pool of liquidity through swaps and offshore bonds in a certain local currency to finance various projects.
  • AIIB may also engage in funding through onshore bond issuances.
5. How does AIIB manage currency risks associated with local currency financings?

At the time of the disbursement of a local currency loan, or the conversion of a USD disbursement or an outstanding USD loan balance into local currency, AIIB will execute a funding or hedging transaction to raise the local currency in the market. The profile of such funding/hedging operation will be structured to match the maturity, interest rate type, repayments and other terms of AIIB’s loan to the client so that AIIB is hedged from any currency exposure. In some cases, the tenor of the market instruments may be shorter than the tenor of the loan, in which case, the client takes on the risk of interest rate and currency changes upon expiration of the funding or hedging instrument. In general, the availability of local currencies is always subject to the market conditions in each market at the time of transaction.

6. Are all the currencies available on a permanent basis?

The availability of local currency financing is subject to AIIB’s access to the specific local currency market and the liquidity of said market. AIIB will determine the feasibility of accessing the market on a case-by-case basis, as well as the maturity and costs of the transaction.

7. Who can apply for local currency loans?

Local currency financing is available to private sector clients and certain public sector entities.

8. Does the borrower have flexibility in choosing the disbursement currency?

Disbursements can be made in the local currency, or in USD (or other currencies), subject to the loan documentation. If it is not possible to source the local currency in a size, tenor and rate required by the client at the time of the disbursement request, the client may request disbursement in USD (or another agreed currency) instead.

9. How are local currency loans priced?

Pricing components for local currency loans for nonsovereign-backed clients are as follows:

  1. AIIB’s cost of funds in local currency
    1. if funding through bonds:
      • Cost based on local market-based benchmark (government bond yield or a relevant reference rate),
      • Issuance or execution costs (underwriting fees, execution costs), and
      • Recurring costs (listing, custody, payment fees).
    2. if funding through swaps:
      • swap rate or a relevant reference rate.
  2. Client or project spread (negotiated separately for each loan)
  3. Front-end fee
  4. Commitment fee
10. What will be the benchmark for AIIB cost of funds in case of swaps?

For currencies other than USD, the applicable benchmark rates are the interest rates in the domestic market of the underlying currency.

11. How can borrowers request local currency financing?

The following mechanisms are available:

  • At the loan origination. Borrowers can, at the time of the loan origination, request that the loan is denominated in local currency, and each disbursement and its currency of repayment will be made in the local currency.
  • Conversion request after disbursement. Borrowers can request the conversion of all or a portion of the disbursed amounts into local currency, at any time during the life of the loan. Conversion of already disbursed amounts into a local currency will be available if AIIB can effectively source local currency through swap markets or a bond issuance.
12. What is the disbursement notice period for a local currency denominated loan?

The standard disbursement notice period is 15 business days.

13. Is there a maximum number or volume of swaps that can be executed for one project in a year and/or throughout the availability period?

This depends on each market. In some countries, financial markets are fairly developed while some are less so. There are limits by size, tenor, or structure, beyond which market counterparts will not trade or will trade only at a price that may be prohibitive. Please liaise with AIIB Treasury on specific terms.

14. Can local currency loans be prepaid or cancelled?

If the local currency financing was arranged through a cross currency swap, clients can prepay all or part of the disbursed and outstanding amount during the life of the loan, by notifying AIIB in accordance with the relevant provisions of the loan documentation and paying the corresponding breakage and other related costs. If the local currency financing was provided through a bond issuance, the client cannot prepay the loan until the maturity of the matching bond issuance.

Borrowers can cancel all or part of the undisbursed balance. Prepayment or cancellation charges may apply in case AIIB incurs costs as a result of loan prepayment or cancellation by a client.

15. What will be the break costs due if the prepayment of a loan results in the unwinding of the corresponding swap?

The amount of break costs reflects what AIIB needs to pay to the swap counterparty for unwinding an existing—or executing an offsetting—swap. This unwinding cost is calculated as a sum of the net present value of future cash flows of the two legs of the swap at a future point in time, using market curves (e.g., interest rate, foreign exchange, currency basis) and calculated as of the day when the client wishes to prepay or amend the loan.

The break cost is an amount that is a greater than zero, that AIIB needs to receive from the client, derived by subtracting present value of all future local currency cashflows from the sum of the local currency loan principal and accrued interest.

The amount of break costs cannot be calculated in advance simply because the market rates change daily and are not available for future dates.

16. Are there any other costs to be borne by the client other than the break cost or prepayment charges in case of prepayment?

All the local currency-specific provisions are outlined in the loan documentation. In addition to the standard loan provisions, the loan documentation may include clauses relating to currency availability, currency substitution, break costs in case of voluntary or mandatory prepayment, or any changes to the payment of interest or principal, or failure to take disbursement after a request is sent, or increased costs related to funding or hedging arrangements.

17. Can a client take out a USD loan with AIIB or with a third party and request to benefit from a standalone cross currency swap entered into by AIIB to hedge its expected or existing currency risk exposure under such third-party loan?

No, AIIB does not offer standalone hedging products to its clients at the present time.

18. When is the currency equivalent or currency conversion and interest rates for a loan determined?

The currency conversion rate and corresponding interest rates are determined when AIIB executes the corresponding funding or hedging transaction, matching each individual disbursement date.

19. In an infrastructure project with a long construction period, the exchange rate and interest rate will vary over the construction period, which might result in foreign exchange and interest rate risks. Can a client lock the exchange rate and/or the interest rate on the signature date of the loan agreement?

AIIB will execute a funding/hedging transaction to cover each disbursement, which means that the client will bear all currency and interest risks until all disbursements are completed. Subject to market conditions, if the client agrees to submit an irrevocable disbursement request (containing the predetermined schedule of disbursements, interest and principal repayments), it may be possible to determine the currency and interest rate for the required amount of the loan. A clear cost recovery mechanism would need to be in place in the event of a request to modify this schedule.

Sovereign-backed Financing
1. How is the borrowing cost margin for a Variable Spread Loan calculated?

A Variable Spread Loan (VSL) product allows AIIB to directly pass its cost of borrowing to borrowers of its sovereign-backed loans. The VSL interest rate is the sum of the contractual lending spread, maturity premium, base rate (such as LIBOR) and borrowing cost margin. The borrowing cost margin is recalculated every January and July, taking into account the cost of AIIB's outstanding bond issuance.

2. Is the variable spread always less than the fixed spread?

Under a VSL, borrowers can benefit from AIIB’s actual funding cost as a triple-A rated institution, as compared to the projected funding cost under a Fixed Spread Loan (FSL). This advantage may vary over time depending on future market conditions.

3. Is a VSL product unique to AIIB?

No. Currently, the following MDBs are also offering VSLs: International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

4. Will the VSL rate be applied retrospectively (disbursed and undisbursed amount) from the date of effectiveness of conversion?

There is no possibility for retrospective application to past accrual periods; nor is there a possibility to have a part-variable spread and a part-fixed spread in a single loan. For borrowers who elect conversion from fixed to variable spread, the variable spread rate will apply to the outstanding disbursed amounts starting from the interest payment period after the effectiveness of conversion. The effectiveness of conversion is the date of AIIB approval of the conversion request.

5. When is the loan spread determined?

For an FSL, the spread is determined upon loan signing. For a VSL, the spread is determined at the determination dates semi-annually.

6. What are the components of the Fixed Spread Loan pricing?

The unique feature of an FSL is that it insulates the borrower from changes in AIIB’s own funding cost. FSL pricing is composed on the following components: (a) cost base rate of six-month USD LIBOR, which is the same for FSL and VSL; and (b) four spread components: contractual lending spread, maturity premium, projected funding spread and market risk premium. The contractual lending spread is the same for all borrowers—it compensates for taking the average portfolio risk and covers administrative expenses. The maturity premium is applied to loans based on their individual average maturity—it compensates for additional economic capital deployment for longer tenor loans. The projected funding spread and market risk premium both cover the risk of refinancing of AIIB, and vary depending on the average loan life.

The fixed spread remains constant during the loan tenor. The Bank also charges a commitment fee and front-end fee, on both FSLs and VSLs.

At present, FSLs are offered only in USD.

7. What is the difference between an FSL and a VSL?

For a detailed comparison of an FSL and a VSL, please see Fact Sheet—Sovereign-Backed Financing.

8. How can a borrower switch between FSL and VSL?

AIIB offered Borrowers a one-time switch from FSL to VSL for a period of one year from the introduction of the VSL product in July 2019. At present, further switches between these products are not possible.

9. Does AIIB offer other risk management tools (fixing the interest rate, interest rate cap or floor, conversion to local currency)?

No. At present, AIIB offers only FSL and VSL products to its sovereign borrowers. However, AIIB is developing a range of other products in response to demand from its clients, and will add them to the product menu list in the future.

10. In which currencies can AIIB lend to sovereign sector borrowers?

Sovereign-backed loans may be offered in USD, or other currencies in which AIIB can efficiently fund itself in the market. FSLs are only offered in USD. VSLs are offered in USD and other hard currencies.

Hard currencies are defined as currencies of the Group of Ten (G10)* or those included in the SDR basket (USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, SEK, and RMB). The availability of currencies is subject to market conditions, such as sufficiently deep and liquid cross-currency swap markets. At present, AIIB provides sovereign-backed loans in Euro and RMB, based on VSL terms. AIIB expects to expand this list of currencies in the future.

* Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States (source: IMF website).

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