The Cambodian joint venture with the Royal Group has more than 20 branches across the country and has been in Cambodia since September 2005.
However, ANZ has now announced that it has agreed to sell its stake in the joint venture “in line with [the] ANZ Group’s ongoing strategic review of international partnerships, in order to simplify the business and operate wholly owned institutional businesses in the region”.
The 55 per cent share in the company has been sold to J Trust, a Japanese diversified financial holding company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. However, the bank has said that it will continue to own its stake and manage the business alongside J Trust for up to 12 months “to ensure a smooth transition of ownership”.
The proceeds (inclusive of transaction costs, taxes and the release of accumulated foreign currency translation reserves) equate to around AUD$30 million loss on sale completion for ANZ.
While the transaction has been approved by the Royal Group, it is subject to final regulatory approval from the National Bank of Cambodia and the Ministry of Commerce.
Once the sale transfer is complete, ANZ will no longer have an operational presence in Cambodia.
Farhan Faruqui, ANZ’s group executive, international, said: “This joint venture has been beneficial to both ANZ and the Royal Group over the past 13 years, with ANZ Royal now a strong and successful bank.
“We view the business environment in Cambodia as attractive and recognise it’s an important growth economy in the ASEAN region. However, the sale is in line with our efforts to exit minority investments and partnerships to focus on our institutional business in Asia.”
ANZ has also recently announced the sales of its stakes in Metrobank Card Corporation in the Philippines and Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank in China, as well as its Australian life insurance and superannuation businesses.
Mr Faruqui added: “We remain committed to our institutional presence in Asia. Our regional network is an important differentiator for ANZ and key to our ambition to be the best bank to support companies with trade and capital flows throughout the region.”