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Commonwealth Bank ends talks to buy ABN Amro units

Thursday 14th August 2008

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia ended talks to acquire ABN Amro’s investment banking and corporate finance units in Australia and New Zealand.

The risks in integrating the businesses was too high given the current economic climate and uncertainty in world financial markets, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

The owner of the businesses, Royal Bank of Scotland, will retain them after failing to find a buyer, Bloomberg News reported. The U.K.'s No. 2 bank is trying to sell assets after acquiring ABN Amro of the Netherlands in 2007 for about 14 billion euros.

Among the businesses is a half stake in brokerage ABN AMRO Craigs, which is owned 50-50 by senior employees of the firm and ABN Amro Holdings.

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By Jonathan Underhill

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