Sharechat Logo

ANZ Bank puts out feelers for potential buyers of NZ life insurance unit

Wednesday 7th March 2018

Text too small?

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group is gauging interest in its New Zealand life insurance division after the sale of its life unit across the Tasman shook out prospective buyers for the Kiwi business. 

The lender sent an email to New Zealand staff yesterday saying it was engaging with a small number of parties to test their appetite for buying the business, spokesman Stefan Herrick said. ANZ's sale of its Australian OnePath Life unit for A$2.85 billion to Zurich Financial Services Australia sparked interest in the New Zealand division, which the Australian Financial Review's Street Talk column reported could attract a price tag of A$700 million to A$900 million. 

"While we’re happy with how our business is performing and have plans for its development, we have decided to engage with a small number of parties to see what value they might add to the business," Herrick said in an email. "This process might not result in a sale, but we owe it to the business and our customers to assess what will deliver the best performance for them."

ANZ's OnePath Life (NZ) division reported a profit of $32.3 million in the year ended Sept. 30, 2017, on revenue of $173.3 million. The insurer sold its medical business to nib Holdings for $24.7 million in the 2016 year. 

Three of Australia's 'four pillars' have sold their life insurance units as they contend with tighter prudential requirements, selling assets and raising capital to ensure they meet the regulator's levels. 

Still, ANZ's Herrick said insurance remains a core part of its business, and that "will continue irrespective of any decision on who manufactures our life insurance products". 

ANZ had also planned to sell its New Zealand finance company, UDC Finance, although that deal was scuttled by the Overseas Investment Office when it couldn't uncover the ultimate owners of the proposed buyer, HNA Group, and separately the lender sold its online trading platform Direct Capital to First NZ Capital. 

The tyre-kicking comes the same week law firm Chapman Tripp released its annual mergers & acquisitions trends and insights report anticipated financial services would be one of the busier sectors for corporate takeover activity this year due in part to the Australian lenders scaling back the breadth of their services. 

The dual-listed stock fell 1.3 percent to $30.30 on the NZX today, having declined 2.6 percent so far this year. 

(BusinessDesk)

  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comment:
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares fall as investor uncertainty weighs on exporters; F&P Health, A2 drop
NZ dollar drops below US68c on plan to up bank capital
Noel Leeming fined $200,000 for misleading consumers
Big four banks face stiffer capital requirements from RBNZ
Infratil signals A$50m investment in Canberra Data Centres
Govt provides $2.5 mln to develop Opotiki aquaculture
Labour co-ordinator role may alleviate kiwifruit labour shortage
NZ manufacturing activity chugs along in November
Australia's GWA lobs in $118M bid for Methven
Govt leaves door open for higher emissions price cap

IRG See IRG research reports