New Zealand Regulator Blocks Sale of ANZ Unit to Chinese Conglomerate HNA

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ.AU) said Thursday that a New Zealand regulator blocked the sale of asset-finance business UDC Finance to Chinese conglomerate HNA Group (HNAG.YY).

ANZ said that New Zealand's Overseas Investment Office denied HNA's application to buy UDC, which finances vehicles, equipment and other machinery. The bank said it is unclear whether HNA, which agreed in January to buy the unit for 660 million New Zealand dollars ($460 million), will try to overturn the decision.

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"If the sale does not proceed, we'll assess our strategic options regarding the future of UDC," ANZ Bank Group Executive and New Zealand CEO David Hisco said in a press release.

ANZ, which has been selling off non-core assets recently, said the regulator's decision wouldn't affect a recently announced on-market share buyback worth 1.5 billion Australian dollars ($1.15 billion).

-Write to Mike Cherney at mike.cherney@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 20, 2017 16:32 ET (21:32 GMT)