The ANZ Bank has sold UDC Finance, a car loan finance company in New Zealand, for $NZ660 million ($A625 million), the latest in a series of asset sales.
The unit, an asset finance business of ANZ’s wholly-owned subsidiary ANZ Bank New Zealand, is being sold to the China-based conglomerate HNA Group, one of the world’s largest asset finance and leasing companies.
The sale, which also includes the Esanda name and trademarks in Australia and New Zealand, reflects a continued focus by ANZ on simplifying its business and capital efficiency. UDC Finance has revenue of $NZ120 million ($A113 million) from $NZ2.6 billion ($A2.4 billion) in loans.
“The sale of UDC is consistent with our strategy to simplify the bank and is a good outcome for customers and staff,” says ANZ New Zealand CEO David Hisco.
HNA Group intends to preserve UDC’s operations including offering continued employment to all staff.
The bank has also been selling down its retail assets in Asia to concentrate on institutional customers. The latest was a 20% stake in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank for $1.838 billion.
CEO Shayne Elliott, who in January 2016 replaced Mike Smith, a big believer in the growth prospects of Asia, has been clear that he wants a more targeted business.
The ANZ posted an 18% fall in 2016 full year cash profit to $5.9 billion, dragged down by the cost of reforms. The result included $1.077 billion of after tax charges, including restructuring and the cost of software.
The bank is cutting operating costs, exiting low return and non-core businesses and reducing reliance on low-returning parts of institutional banking.
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