AIIB keen on affordable housing investment, seeks govt support

Till now, the bank has invested USD 1.6 billion in seven projects in the country and has not taken any direct exposure in the affordable housing segment.

AIIB keen on affordable housing investment, seeks govt support

Mumbai: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is willing to look at investing in affordable housing in the country, but needs support from the government on repayments, a senior official.

"In the coming years we would probably open to affordable housing. But since we are lenders, we want our money back. So, affordable housing needs to be supported by the government in terms of repayments," AIIB's principal strategy officer Najeeb Haider told reporters at the bank's two-day annual summit.

He said the project in which the AIIB would like to invest can be packaged like a public private partnership.

Elaborating on the insistence on sovereign support, Haider said in all the markets, housing requires support from the government.

Till now, the bank has invested USD 1.6 billion in seven projects in the country and has not taken any direct exposure in the affordable housing segment, he said.

The bank invests in specific sectors of energy, transportation and sustainable cities and the Indian investments also mirror the same themes, he added.

Haider said unlike other multilateral institutions, the 2016-incorporated AIIB does not invest in education, healthcare and agriculture, but may look at those in the future if it involves creating infrastructure in any of those socially relevant sectors.

When asked about concerns of operating in the country, given that a lot of the high-ticket infrastructure loans have turned sour for local lenders, Haider declined to point out any specific one beyond currency risk.

He said the bank lends in dollars and addressing the currency mismatch is a worry, adding that in the future, it may also look at local currency loans.

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