ANZ Bank offloads Asian assets to Singapore’s DBS

ANZSYDNEY: ANZ Bank Monday announced the sale of its retail and wealth management arms in five Asian countries to Singapore’s DBS as it repositions for the future.

The businesses affected are in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Indonesia with the transaction, subject to regulatory approvals, expected to be finalised by early 2018.

ANZ did not list the value of the assets but said the bank would take a Aus$265 million ($200 million USD) net loss due to writedowns and various other costs.

Chief executive Shayne Elliott said the company was working to become simpler and better capitalised, allowing it to focus on corporate and institutional clients in Asia.

“Asia remains core to ANZ’s strategy,” he said.

“By focussing our resources in Asia — whether that is capital, technology or people — on institutional banking, we can continue to build a world-class, capital efficient business by strengthening our network and the support we provide to our key institutional clients.

“In retail and wealth, although we have grown a profitable business in Asia, without greater scale ANZ’s competitive position is not as compelling.”

The announcement came ahead of ANZ’s annual profit result on Thursday, with all Australia’s big banks battling higher funding costs, lower interest margins and rising bad-debt charges.