ANZ to Sell Half of Stake in Philippines-Based Metrobank Card Corp for A$184 Million

By Robb M. Stewart Features Dow Jones Newswires

MELBOURNE, Australia--Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. has agreed to sell its stake in Philippines-based credit-card provider Metrobank Card Corp. to venture partner Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.

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In a statement Wednesday, the Australian bank said it would sell half of its 40% stake in MCC for US$144 million and had an option to sell the remaining 20% stake to Metrobank on the same terms, which would be exercisable in the fourth quarter of the 2018 fiscal year.

The deal builds on ANZ's efforts to consolidate its position in Asia and sell assets to focus on its core banking operations in Australia and New Zealand. Earlier in the week it struck a deal to sell its pensions and financial-planning business to Australia's IOOF Holdings Ltd. for 975 million Australian dollars (US$746.9 million) in cash. It has previously agreed to sell retail and wealth-management businesses in five Asian countries, its asset-finance business in New Zealand, and in April, its retail-banking operations in Vietnam.

Formed in 2003, MCC is a leading provider of credit cards in the Philippines with more than 1.5 million active cards.

ANZ said its original investment in the joint venture was A$14 million. It said it expected a post-tax gain on the sale of about A$245 million and an increase in its common equity Tier 1 capital ratio of about 9 basis points , although the sale was likely to be broadly neutral on an earnings per share basis.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at robb.stewart@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 18, 2017 05:44 ET (09:44 GMT)