China's central bank welcomes more strategic foreign investment in small and mediumsized banks, Reuters quoted assistant bank governor Li Ruogu as saying. Such banks would serve the development of local economies and non-state companies. The central bank also supported commercial banks performing other banking operations besides fee-based ones. The International Finance Corp and Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia are to buy stakes in Xian City Commercial Bank, Reuters also reported. The IFC, the World Bank's private financing arm, has a policy of taking stakes in China's smaller banks in order to help bring the country's financial sector up to international standards. It has also taken a stake in Bank of Shanghai.