anzcrop.jpgPatience is a virtue. Australian bank ANZ has taken its second minority stake in a Chinese bank, although the deal took four years to close.

ANZ will pay $263m for a 19.9% stake in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank (SRCB) – China's largest rural commercial bank, with 330 branches and about 2.5m retail customers.

China allows foreign banks to buy stakes up to 20% in its domestic banks and ANZ already has has a 19.9% stake in Tianjin City Commercial Bank.

The latter deal was done last year but the wooing of SRCB predates that as the two signed a strategic agreement with SRCB in 2003.

Back then, SRCB was still a credit union and did not have a banking licence, and the delay in closing the deal is due to Chinese regulators concerned about SRCB's transition from credit union to bank.

More on ANZ and its China strategy in these stories.

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