One of China’s “Big Four” state-owned banks, Agricultural Bank of China employed nearly half a million people across almost 23,000 branches in 2021 and is the 16th largest employer on the list. It first broke into the top 50 of the Global 500 in 2020 and has continued that momentum, moving up to this year’s No. 28 ranking. The Beijing-based bank saw 17.9% revenue growth and 19.5% profit growth in 2021. It is a key player in China’s strategy for rural revitalization, with a focus on ending rural poverty and modernizing its agricultural sectors. AgBank’s balances for loans and advances to customers in rural areas reached over $973 billion in 2021, and its balance for loans to small businesses increased 38.8% from the year prior. The bank also bolstered its green and low-carbon transformation strategies and saw a 30.6% increase in its green credit balance and a 35% increase in green bond investments. However, as troubled real estate investments began plaguing China’s big financial institutions in mid-2022, the bank reported in July that it had 660 million yuan in overdue loans on unfinished homes, the most of any bank amid the ongoing mortgage meltdown.
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