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Joint Venture with OCBC Bank to create Asian internet bank

Document date:  Mon 17 Jul 2000
Published:  Mon 17 Jul 2000 14:13:56
Document No:  164608
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  Y
Classification:  Issued Capital - Other , Progress Report - Other

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LI      2000-07-17  ASX-SIGNAL-G

HOMEX - Melbourne                                                     

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MEDIA RELEASE

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) and
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC Bank) today
announced an innovative e-commerce joint venture to create Asia's
leading internet bank with a regional network.

The regional internet bank will target the 40 million 'wired
affluent' consumers that are expected in Asia by 2005. The business
model has been developed after extensive study of existing pure
internet banks in North America and the United Kingdom.

To be launched towards the end of this year, the ANZ-OCBC joint
venture will be branded separately to reflect the unique proposition
it will offer customers. The joint venture is expected to be earnings
positive by 2002 through a combination of regional growth,
significantly reduced customer acquisition costs and scalable
technology.

The joint venture will also make selective strategic equity
investments in a range of partner companies involved in e-financial
services, on-line content provision and other internet-based
services.

ANZ and OCBC Bank will invest a total of US$100 million (S$170
million) over three years, including investments in strategic partner
companies and start up development costs.

The first partner for the joint venture will be Hong Kong-based
online stockbroker BOOM.COM in which ANZ already holds a 10%
strategic investment. 

ANZ Chief Executive Officer, Mr John McFarlane said the joint venture
reflected a shared vision by ANZ and OCBC Bank to lead the
transformation of banking and financial services in Asia through
e-commerce.

"ANZ and OCBC Bank's complementary networks, which include banking
licences in all the major Asian countries, provide a natural
foundation for the joint venture," Mr McFarlane said.

"The joint venture is a key part of ANZ's strategy to rapidly develop
new growth opportunities in Asia Pacific by focusing on e-commerce.
We believe that the best way to achieve this is with a partner with a
strong foundation and vision for the region," he said. 

OCBC Bank Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alex Au said
the partnership was a powerful combination of the best of two leading
banks - OCBC Bank's regional network, market knowledge and e-commerce
focus, and ANZ's expertise in technology, e-commerce and alliance
management.

"Together, ANZ and OCBC Bank provide all the core skills for a
successful e-partnership. Australia has a very well developed
e-commerce infrastructure and ANZ is a leader amongst the local
banks," he said.

"The joint venture forms part of OCBC Bank's US$590 million (S$1
billion) e-commerce strategy which includes the creation of new
business models to take it to the forefront of the e-financial
landscape.

"As partners, we intend to create and bring together a full suite of
products and services that will meet the growing needs of
increasingly sophisticated wired customers," said Mr Au.

The joint venture internet bank will operate as a standalone business
headquartered in Singapore, with a separate Board and management,
systems and culture allowing it to operate with internet speed and
flexibility.

Further details on the joint venture, its strategic partners and
customer launch plan will be announced over the next few months.

For media enquiries, contact:

Paul Edwards
HEAD OF GROUP MEDIA RELATIONS
ANZ
Telephone +61-3-9273 6955 or +61-409-655 550
Email: edwardpl2@anz.com

Dawn Lim
HEAD, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
OCBC BANK
Tel: +65-530 1531
Fax: +65-535 7477
Email: dawnlim@ocbc.com.sg

A full copy of this announcement, including Media Briefing is
available for purchase from ASX Customer Service on 1 300 300 279.
Charges apply.