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ANZ plan to sell UDC Finance stalled

The Overseas Investment Office has rejected an application from China-based HNA to buy UDC Finance, from ANZ for $660 million.

Thursday, December 21st 2017, 10:06AM

ANZ Bank group executive and New Zealand chief executive David Hisco said: “While the sale agreement between the parties remains in place, unless HNA successfully overturns the OIO decision, the sale will not proceed.

“We don’t know if HNA will attempt to overturn the decision.

“If the sale does not proceed, we’ll assess our strategic options regarding the future of UDC. It’s a great business and there is no immediate requirement to do anything, particularly given the strength of ANZ’s capital position.

“UDC continues to be a highly profitable and strong business, with great staff and customers, and a growing loan portfolio across a range of industries.

“UDC’s focus remains on its core business of financing vehicles and equipment for people and companies across New Zealand. So, it will be business as usual for our staff and customers.”

The OIO indicated it rejected the bid because it was not clear who the ultimate purchaser would be.

This OIO decision has no impact on the recently announced $AUD1.5 billion on-market buy back of ANZ Banking Group shares.

The UDC transaction proceeds are equivalent to ~10 basis points of APRA CET1 capital. If the transaction does not go ahead, ANZ’s FY18 earnings will no longer be adjusted for the sale. 

HNA said in a statement: "We are disappointed by the OIO's decision and find it inconsistent with the views of other regulators around the world that have recently issued approvals to HNA and other Chinese investors.

"The current political environment in New Zealand relative to foreign investment will play a significant role in our determination of next steps."

Tags: ANZ David Hisco term deposits UDC

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Last updated: 11 January 2018 9:27am

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