Egypt seeks to join China-based AIIB

The US Treasury said Thursday that the Chinese and South Korean governments should stop intervening in markets to protect their undervalued currencies and let them rise (AFP Photo/Frederic J. Brown)

Egypt is interested in joining the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday. Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia have all said they intend to join the bank, despite scepticism about the AIIB in Washington and Tokyo. China and 20 other countries signed a memorandum of understanding last October to establish the Beijing-headquartered $50 billion AIIB. "Egypt has applied to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank," foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdel Atti told AFP. The new multinational lender is seen as a threat to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, two institutions under strong US influence. The United States has voiced concern about whether it would meet international governance, environmental and social standards, with President Barack Obama's administration waging an intense but low-profile lobbying campaign against it. China is expected to foot the bulk of the initial money needed to get the AIIB started, with donations from other members set to increase the size of the overall fund to more than $100 billion.

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