China names candidate to head AIIB

Beijing yesterday named a former vice-minister of finance as its preferred candidate to head the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a potential rival to the Washington-based World Bank.

"The Chinese government has officially nominated Jin Liqun to be China's candidate for the presidency of the AIIB," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

He is effectively certain to be appointed as Beijing will initially have a 26.06 per cent share of the votes at the bank, giving it veto power over the choice of the president, which requires a 75 per cent majority.

The AIIB has been viewed by some as a rival to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, and the United States and Japan - the world's largest and third-largest economies, respectively - have notably declined to join.

Beijing will be, by far the largest AIIB shareholder at about 30 per cent, according to the legal framework signed by 50 founding member countries last week.

Mr Jin, who is now chief of the AIIB's preparation body, has previously worked for both the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, as well as the Finance Ministry, according to a biography attached to the statement.

He was also formerly a top official at the China Investment Corporation, the country's sovereign wealth fund, it showed.

He has "abundant experiences in leading and managing government agencies, international organisation and private companies", the statement said.

A Hubert Humphrey Fellow in economics at Boston University in 1987-88, Mr Jin has a master's degree in English literature, speaks fluent English and reportedly good French.

Nominations close this month and the president will be elected at the inaugural meeting of the bank's board of governors after its official launch expected to be later this year, the Finance Ministry statement said.