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Is ANZ’s Asian expansion about to end?

Becoming a serious regional player has long been a key aim for ANZ, but is the bank’s Asian expansion about to come to an abrupt end?

ANZ already has a presence in Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. And in Cambodia the three year-old ANZ Royal Bank is the largest in the market.

But chief executive Mike Smith has admitted that financial market turmoil and the depressed price of ANZ shares means that “right now, I can’t afford Asian businesses”. (The Daily Telegraph)

Does this spell the end of ANZ growing its headcount in Asia? Should it leave the region to big boys like HSBC and Standard Chartered? Give ANZ some answers below.

Comments (11)

  1. ANZ hasn’t done well locally in Australia and it hasn’t picked the best time. Getting into Asian markets requires of local culture and politics knowledge too.

  2. This week Mike Smith said he’s making Asia a stand-alone unit: “Our new structure puts ANZ into the best possible shape to take advantage of this new reality and accelerate our progress towards becoming a super-regional bank and more customer-focused.” Doesn’t look like he’s giving up.

  3. Having a dream without realising own strength & more importantly the ABILITY is a killer in reality. How many times we have heard Macquarie aspires to be a GLOBAL LEADING IB & TOP 10 IN THE LEAGUE before ? so where is it now ? Aussie bankers I have dealt with are not smart & fail to adapt the local practice & culture vs American banks like Citi, MS which also start expanding into Asia in mid-80’s. what they have achieved after 20 yrs till now vs the peers from Oz ?

  4. Most likely to end this time like previous ill-timed attempts. trying to expand at the peak when mkt collapse is around the corner. just like Japanese like to do, same for Oz banks. I got calls frrom agents acting for ANZ to add with joking package

  5. ANZ are not a serious player in Asia and are unable to attract the ”rain makers” form the major players in the region. The biggest mistake ANZ are making is they still think they are in OZ and want to pay and treat staff on Australian terms, not international ones!!!

    ANZ have failed to make a major play in the Australian market and will soon be the smallest of the 4 pillars (once the St.Westpac merger), so I don’t think any major player in Asia should be to worried.

  6. The only reason it may end is the poor performers that Mike has left after his so called organizational re-structure. Mike, the duds are still there!

  7. i think ANZ just discovered Asia but the other US banks are way ahead. I think ANZ should try to No 1 or 2 in Australia before trying to go after Asia. Most of the talent in the Asian team dont even know where Asia is let alone have the ability to deliver on this so called super regional promise!!. Does ANZ realise Asia is more competitive than Australia ?. If you cant win in a regulated market what chance have you got in trying to win in a market that is more competitive than your home turf ?

  8. Look after your own backyard before pursuing any further, Mike! Leave those emerging markets to the experts.

  9. Mike is so experienced in EM w/ HSBC. but the situation is not so trivial at a bank downunder w/o much greenfield experience in Asia. just look how they have done in the past, yielding so limited return vs investment made.

  10. All “so-called” IBs in OZ are on fire, B&B and Allco. funny structure packaging infrastrcture assets into funds and sell them to investors several yrs later after purchase. no ultimate holding company & hard to value.

  11. Get your house into order before going out to start looking at another one.
    ANZ tried before and finished up selling the jewels ie India etc before giving it a proper go.
    When you grow Australia then you can look further afield.

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