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ANZ offloads stake in Cambodian bank

Simone Ziaziaris
ANZ continues to divest its Asian assets by selling off 55 per cent of Cambodia's ANZ Royal Bank

ANZ has agreed to sell its majority stake in a Cambodian bank as it continues to divest assets in Asia.

The lender says the sale of a 55 per cent stake in ANZ Royal Bank to Japanese financial house J Trust will equate to a $30 million loss and complete within 12 months, subject to regulatory approval.

ANZ - which is also selling its Australian superannuation business to IOOF - has already divested retail and wealth businesses in six Asian countries, and has announced the sales of its stakes in the Philippines and China.

ANZ group executive international Farhan Faruqi said the joint venture with Cambodian Royal Group had been beneficial for ANZ over the past 13 years, but that an exit would allow the bank to better focus.

"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," Mr Faruqui said on Friday.

"We remain committed to our institutional presence in Asia."

ANZ has been streamlining its business since Shayne Elliott became chief executive in January 2016, building capital and focusing on its domestic markets.

In February, AMP completed the transfer of businesses in Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore to Singapore's DBS Bank, and had also finalised the sale of its Vietnamese retail business to Shinhan Bank.

It has offloaded its consumer credit insurance business to international insurance giant Zurich for $2.85 billion, but the sale of its New-Zealand finance business to Chinese logistics company HNA Group was blocked by NZ regulators in December.

At 1020 AEST on Friday, shares in ANZ were up 10 cents, or 0.36 per cent, at $28.09, making the lender the only one of the big four banks to be in the green.

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