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Will Aussie banks always lose against the Chinese?

Westpac/St George may be grabbing the parochial headlines, but will that so-called mega merger only create a big fish in a small financial pond?

The failure of ANZ to get its hands on Hong Kong’s Wing Lung Bank is more ominous and potentially more important. China Merchants Bank offered US$4.7bn for Wing Lung and little old ANZ just couldn’t compete with those big bucks.

Does the humbling of ANZ, a firm desperate to grow in Asia, mean that Australian banks will always lose when up against the might of a Chinese rival? And as a banker, is your international reputation doomed if you stay with a domestic?

The Economist gives us the global take on ANZ’s real standing in the banking world: “It came down, in the end, to a fight between an aggressive Australian bank with a new boss who has China in his sights, and keen Chinese banks wanting a quick route to the outside world. The result reflected the new financial pecking order: China won.”

What now for ANZ’s Asian expansion? Will another local bank ever dare to take on the Chinese? Put the boot into Aussie banks below.

Comments (9)

  1. They will go for mergers in Asia whenever the opportunity is right – you won some you lose some – it’s stupid to say that anz reflects all other banks

  2. It’s more about teh growing power of the Chinise banks than anything about australia. a similar sized American or Euro bank would hav elost out too

  3. from all reports – including the economist – Wing Lung may not have been such a great buy anyway, Anz was sensible not to match the overpriced offer

  4. there are plenty of examples of Australian banks buying overseas – this is just one example of where it dodn’t work out. article is not balanced

  5. Westpac-St G is a LOT more significant for aussie jobs – this is a load of dribble. how many jobs would have been created/lost even if ANZ got the takeover…probably none in Australia!!

  6. Aussie big four will always be fairly small on global scale — get used to it!

  7. Given the confirmation of the 4 pillar policy, it is time for a true global bank (HBSC ?) taking a substantial stake in one of the four (ANZ ?) and regenerate true competition. Good on ANZ for not overpaying.

    Keep those bankers honest Reply
  8. The point isn’t that aus banks can’t compete with big chinise ones – the point is that they can’t compete with big banks full stop – from china, us, wherever. david and goliath it ain’t. the only become stronger on world scale if they merge together..opppsss…that won’t happen either according to the govt

  9. Wing Ling what? This ain’t Westpac/St george – I’m sorry

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