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Will ANZ succeed in Asia?

Can an Aussie bank cut it with the big boys in Asia? ANZ has been growing in the region for several years, but has now become a much larger player after agreeing to buy some of RBS’s Asian businesses for about $US550m.

The firm is snapping up the retail, wealth management and commercial businesses in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong, as well as RBS’s institutional banking operations in Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Is this a once-in-a-generation opportunity for ANZ to really expand outside its small domestic market, or is the bank opening up a can of integration worms as RBS did when it bought ABN AMRO?

How will the enlarged ANZ perform in the competitive, banking-hub markets of Hong Kong and Singapore?

And is the RBS purchase a sign of more expansion on the horizon? “It’s not a transformational acquisition, but it is a stepping stone that complements our existing business,” chief executive Mike Smith told a briefing in Hong Kong.

The cashed-up ANZ has confirmed it has capacity for as many as three other takeovers the size of the RBS deal, although the prospect of a large-scale Asian acquisition is still some time off.
Is Asia the perfect match for ANZ? Let us know below.

Comments (9)

  1. Taiwan is the biggest part….1.3 million customers and $2.7 billion in deposits. So, it’s not just sg and hk. This has made anz truly regional

  2. ANZ is already in Asia, so it knows the market better than other firms of a similar size. The RBS buyout was an obvious one for ANZ – a good fit.

  3. Time will tell if they can compete with established names like StanChart & HSBC

  4. ANZ has formed a certain network in Asia so far. Now ANZ is changing it label and soon it will come into public this Ocbtober. New advertising campaign signal the business re-contruction. Aim of the its future business will be sophisticated into the area, Australia, New zealand and Asian. I personally expect ANZ could do a great job as the in-charge Mike smith has his long-servant in Asian during this tenure in HSBC.His strong network and experience certainly will be an advantage over his other opponents from its own soil.

  5. Won’t stay in game too long. They have an inverted cone structure within. Its a matter of when the base lose its centre of gravity.

  6. Absolutely agree with James, they have an inverted cone Mgmt structure within and a complicated matrix reporting structure. Politics and power struggle between the exHSBC party and exSCB party is terribly serious. ANZ dumped lots of resources into China last year trying to develop the market, end up they have achieved nothing but to hold up their overly aggressive plan there since they don’t really know the market & therefore seriously hit by the global financial crisis.
    Yes, Mike Smith knows Asia may be, but he was playing with HSBC that already has long presence in the region, but ANZ can nothing compare to HSBC, in terms of resources, presence, reputation, etc. Honestly I’m not optimistic about it’s ambition in Asia, I think it is simply a ridiculous bluffing to share the market & be competitive as HSBC & SCB. I bet that within 3 years time the reality would reveal.

  7. You must be joking.

  8. No chance – ultimately everything is driven from Australia and the management there (with the exception of Mike Smith and a few others) have no idea – they think they know Asia because they been to Bali a few times.. Any of the good people they will acquire at RBS will leave after a sort period out of frustration

  9. It’s the same story: RBS bought a nalso-run ABN two years ago and it exhausted both to death – now, another wannabe trying to copy the path and trying the struggling RBS commercials – it’s, at the end of the day, people do the business – so, no chance if a 3rd tier acquiring another 3-tier and dreaming to upgrade – why not organic? at least there’s focus and there’s inner proud, which is the “autheticity” that so often these 3-tier bankers forget

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