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ANZ cancels IPO plans for asset finance business
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ANZ cancels IPO plans for asset finance business

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Reporter 2 minute read

The major bank announced that it would not be pursuing an initial public offering (IPO) of its asset finance subsidiary.

After completing a strategic review, ANZ Bank decided to cancel plans to publicly list its wholly owned asset finance business, UDC Finance, which provides funding for plant equipment, vehicles and machinery in New Zealand.

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ANZ New Zealand CEO David Hisco said: “UDC has continued to perform strongly while we have been looking at our strategic options.

“While we may still consider a sale in the future, we have decided to put a hold on all sale discussions for now and focus on continuing to grow the business.”

The major bank’s attempted sale of UDC Finance for NZ$660 million ($604 million) to a Chinese conglomerate, HNA Group, fell through following stiff opposition from New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

ANZ’s share price dropped after it announced the failed sale, which also impacted the major bank’s forecasted FY18 earnings.

New Zealand, meanwhile, has been cracking down on foreign investments. In August, the controversial Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, under which foreigners are banned from purchasing existing dwellings without the consent of the OIO, had passed the New Zealand Parliament with 65 votes for and 57 against.

Acting Prime Minister at the time Winston Peters claimed then that home ownership in New Zealand has been on the decline for some time, with local home buyers losing to “overseas speculators who have no ties to New Zealand and who pay no tax”.

“New Zealanders should be able to buy their own homes rather than being tenants in their own country,” the acting PM said.

“The passing of this act is an important milestone in securing New Zealanders’ birthright… New Zealand should belong to New Zealanders.”

Mr Peters said that the government would be working to build a “comprehensive registry of foreign-owned land and housing”.

[Related: Foreign sale of ANZ’s finance business falls through]

ANZ cancels IPO plans for asset finance business
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