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Market reaction to approval for ANZ buyout of Suncorp unit

Published 02/19/2024, 07:23 PM
Updated 02/19/2024, 09:35 PM
© Reuters. The logo of the ANZ Banking Group is displayed in the window of a newly opened branch in central Sydney, Australia, April 30, 2016.  REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's Competition Tribunal approved ANZ Group's A$4.9 billion ($3.2 billion) buyout of Suncorp's banking business on Tuesday, allowing the bank to press ahead the acquisition.

The takeover still requires approval by Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers and a sign-off from the government of Queensland, where Suncorp is based.

Here is some reaction from financial markets:

AZIB KHAN, BANKING ANALYST AT E&P FINANCIAL:

"We expect completion of the acquisition to weigh on ANZ’s relative share price performance as it reduces the magnitude of potential capital return, and will see ANZ dealing with the integration over the next 3 years for potentially very modest EPS accretion. We also believe the acquisition will add to ANZ’s cost challenges and that the acquisition will not significantly shift the dial in terms of ANZ’s capital allocation which sees the greatest percentage of capital being allocated to its lowest ROE division (being Institutional)."

MORNINGSTAR ANALYST NATHAN ZAIA:

"The acquisition adds scale to areas where ANZ Bank trails major bank peers, with home loans balances to increase by 18%, customer deposits by 14%, and business lending by 9% (but likely closer to 20% in SME lending). Consolidating systems and processes should help lower the cost base, and we see potential for some funding cost savings over time given ANZ's better credit rating. The integration risks are worth taking in our view."

CLAYTON UTZ PARTNER KIRSTEN WEBB:

"The decision shows the important role of merits review by the Australian Competition Tribunal, as a specialist body bringing together law, economics and industry expertise, in deciding whether mergers should proceed especially where public benefits are involved. The ACCC is an experienced regulator, but in the small number of contentious mergers, reasonable minds can differ and the ACCC, which often heavily focuses on theoretical concerns, might not always get it right."

© Reuters. The logo of the ANZ Banking Group is displayed in the window of a newly opened branch in central Sydney, Australia, April 30, 2016.  REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

HAYDN FLACK, A PARTNER AT LAW FIRM MINTER ELLISON:

"Policy makers will be assessing what the decision means in the context of the merger reform debate and the ongoing review by Treasury's Competition Taskforce. Everyone will be watching for how this result, and the Tribunal's full reasons when they are finally made public, impact the debate over merger reform."

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