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Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - Page 10 News List

ANZ raises A$2.2 billion as part of expansion plan

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Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) raised A$2.2 billion (US$1.72 billion) selling stock to shareholders, more than six times the amount it flagged in May, as it bids for Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc’s Asian units.

Australia’s fourth-largest bank sold the shares at A$14.40 each, it said in a statement to the stock exchange yesterday, after saying on May 27 that it reserved the right to decline shareholder requests if demand exceeded A$350 million.

The stock fell after the statement, closing 2.8 percent lower at A$15.85 in Sydney.

ANZ chief executive officer Michael Smith is expanding in Asia as swelling bad loans at home squeeze profits, prompting the bank to cut its dividend for the first time since the 1991 recession. Smith, who previously headed HSBC Holdings Plc’s Asian division, is aiming to increase the proportion of income derived from the continent to 20 percent.

The A$2.2 billion raised through the so-called share purchase plan comes on top of the A$2.5 billion in equity that ANZ sold to institutional investors in May.

ANZ may buy RBS’ units in at least five Asian countries as Britain’s biggest government-controlled bank splits its assets in the region to attract buyers, three people familiar with the plan said this month.

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