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The Agricultural Bank of China, or ABC, moved up six spots to No. 29 in this year’s Global 500 rankings—the largest jump among China’s top four banks. Since its establishment in 1951, ABC’s remit has been to provide financial services for China’s rural development. With Chinese President Xi Jinping having declared victory over extreme poverty last year, Beijing’s efforts are now directed at rural revitalization, combating rural poverty, and bridging the rural-urban wealth divide. Aligned with Beijing’s goals, ABC ramped up its own strategy last year and increased its loans in 52 lower-income counties by 36%. ABC’s annual profits in 2020 grew 1.6% to $33.4 billion, beating estimates. Its loans for the year hit a record high of $278 billion while its total assets increased 9% to $4.2 trillion.
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