By Jonathan Davies

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has taken a step closer to starting operations after a signing session.

Delegates from 50 countries, including the UK which is a founding member, travelled to Beijing, where the bank will be based, to sign articles determining how much stake each country will hold and how much the bank's starting capital will be.

The AIIB will have a starting authorised capital of $50 billion, which will rise to $100bn.

Japan and the US are two notable absentees from the nations involved with AIIB. The US has accused China of using the bank, which is seen as a rival to the Western-led World Bank, to spread its political power.

The AIIB will focus on rail, road and energy investment projects in China, giving businesses from other countries the chance to win contracts on things like engineering and construction.