The insurance company Suncorp Group’s banking division will be acquired by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group for A$4.9 billion ($3.3 billion), as the smallest of Australia’s major bankers seeks to resurrect the country’s growth after falling behind rivals.
The announced transaction will help ANZ overtake National Australia Bank Ltd. for third place in the market by expanding its retail footprint in a rapidly expanding domestic market and adding about a fifth more assets to its mortgage portfolio.
In Asia, ANZ had experienced fast expansion that has recently begun to wane. By market value as well as a few other criteria, it trails Commonwealth Bank of Australia, NAB, and Westpac Banking Corp.
Hugh Dive, CIO at Atlas Funds Management and shareholder in Suncorp and ANZ, claimed that it was neither offshore nor removed from ANZ’s core competencies. This wasn’t a horrible acquisition in terms of purchases.
The largest equity capital raising of the year will be conducted by ANZ when it issues new stock to raise A$3.5 billion to fund the transaction.
Regulatory approval must be obtained before the banking division of Suncorp is purchased. As a result of the transaction, ANZ’s mortgage book will increase by A$47 billion to A$307 billion. The transaction demonstrates how important mortgages are to Australia’s banks, despite the fact that house prices are being choked off by rising interest rates and cost of living pressures, and numerous economists are predicting a recession within a year.