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Merrill Lynch confirms departure

Sharebrokers Merrill Lynch has confirmed that it is packing up shop in New Zealand.

Friday, January 26th 2001, 6:40AM

Major broking house Merrill Lynch has confirmed that it is pulling out of New Zealand and that it has put its retail broking division up for sale.

The company says its institutional sharebroking and investment banking businesses are being closed and clients will be served from Australia. Likewise its research team has shifted across the Tasman.

The company says the restructuring package should be completed in the next few weeks. Institutional broking would cease by January 31. The investment banking team will be moved to Sydney and Melbourne mid-February.

A buyer is being sought for the retail sharebroking operation, with ASB Securities and ABN Amro being tipped as front runners.

A management buy out fell over recently. It is understood two of the sticking points were price and use of the Merrill Lynch name.

The managing director of Australasian equities, Simon Brookhouse, said that while the firm would no longer have a physical presence in New Zealand, it retained a strong commitment to servicing clients here and international clients with New Zealand interests.

Merrill Lynch, which came into New Zealand after taking over Hendry Hay McIntosh, wants to retain its membership of the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

Worldwide Merrill Lynch has offices in 44 countries and total client assets of about $US1.8 trillion ($4.1 trillion).

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ANZ 6.74 5.89 5.99 6.29
ANZ Special - 5.39 5.39 5.79
ASB Bank 6.75 5.99 5.99 6.39
ASB Bank Special - 5.59 5.39 5.59
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BNZ - Classic - 5.69 5.39 5.59
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Credit Union Baywide 6.45 5.95 5.99 -
Credit Union North 6.45 - - -
Credit Union South 5.75 - - -
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Housing NZ Corp 6.74 5.70 ▼5.99 6.29
HSBC Premier 6.84 5.65 5.65 5.65
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HSBC Special - 5.29 5.29 5.29
ICBC 6.75 5.99 6.39 -
Kiwibank 6.65 5.69 6.09 6.29
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
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