The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Thursday launched 3 billion yuan (about 423 million U.S. dollars) of panda bonds in the China Interbank Bond Market, the first time for the multilateral organisation to enter the market.

The issuance has a maturity of three years with a coupon rate of 2.4 percent, which aims to raise capital to facilitate the AIIB’s response to COVID-19 in the short term and maintain its commitment to investing in sustainable infrastructure in the long term, according to a statement from the AIIB.

The bonds were 2.78 times oversubscribed by more than 20 investors with 35 percent allocated to domestic investors and 65 percent to international investors, said the AIIB.

“The successful transaction serves as an important benchmark for our future issuance’s in the years ahead,” said Jin Liqun, AIIB President and Chair of the Board.

The successful pricing is another key milestone in the AIIB’s funding strategy to be a diversified issuer with access to investors globally, noted AIIB Chief Financial Officer Andrew Cross.

The net proceeds from the bond sales will be used to fund the AIIB’s financing, including those under its COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF), which was created as part of a coordinated international response to counter the COVID-19 pandemic and to respond flexibly and efficiently to client demands.

The CRF has an initial size of between 5 billion and 10 billion U.S. dollars.