CHINA National Non-ferrous Metals Industry Corp (CNNC) has teamed up with Macquarie Bank in Australia to form a finance joint venture for the resources sector on the mainland. The new firm, Asia Resources Capital, will be equally held by the two parties with a registered share capital of A$5 million (about HK$28.6 million). Nick Curtis, managing director of Asia Resources Capital, said the finance house would be developed as a ''resources-focused investment bank'' with its eyes set on the mainland's metal industry including mining, refining and melting. He said China was a major metal consumer but there was a shortage of metal supply in the country. Along with its economic growth, he estimated that the country would consume 1.8 million tonnes of copper a year by 2005, more than double the present level. ''We believe the resources sector is important to its infrastructural development and economic growth,'' Mr Curtis said. ''The resources sector in China has traditionally been regarded as a difficult sector for international investors to access and full assessment of projects has been a problem. ''This joint venture is a logical step for China as it moves towards a socialist market economy and seeks to access international capital,'' he said. CNNC is the Chinese state-owned enterprise which leads the country's non-ferrous metals industry and is active in Hong Kong with stakes in listed Jinhui Holdings and ONFEM Holdings. Macquarie Bank last month formed a joint venture with Kim Eng in Hong Kong to trade equities derivatives. Mr Curtis said Asia Resources Capital, incorporated in Australia, would have two offices, one in Sydney and the other in Beijing. The financier will provide financial advisory services to the resources sector in China and introduce international investors to mainland resources projects. The company will also offer services in structuring and arranging both debt and capital for projects. Mr Curtis said that Asia Resources Capital would also organise and manage equity investment funds of Chinese resource companies. The company will have board representation from both Macquarie Bank and CNNC. Mr Zhang Jain, vice-president of CNNC, will be chairman and Mr Allan Moss, managing director of Macquarie Bank, will be deputy chairman.