National Australia Bank (NAB) is keen to see its rural banking partnership with Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) serve as the foundation to future joint ventures between the two lenders, the Wall Street Journal reported. The memorandum of understanding signed on Friday focuses on rural-banking expertise and on training staff. NAB chief executive John Stewart sees it as an opportunity to learn more about the needs of China’s agricultural sector. He also expressed his hope of future cooperation with ADB once it makes the transition from policy bank to commercial lender. As it stands, ADB’s principal business is issuing loans based on government instructions to finance purchases of products such as grain and edible oil, as well as to support rural infrastructure. Earlier this year, NAB won regulatory approval to buy a 20% stake in Union Trust & Investment.
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