Letter to Shareholders re:Share Plans
Tue 24 Oct 2000
Published: Tue 24 Oct 2000 13:58:26
Document No: 168876
Document part: A
Market Flag: N
Classification: Letter to Shareholders
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LI 2000-10-24 ASX-SIGNAL-G HOMEX - Melbourne +++++++++++++++++++++++++ LETTER TO SHAREHOLDER This letter is to draw your attention to changes to the rules of the Share Plans and provide current information on the Shareholder Privilege Card for 2001 and other items of interest to shareholders. A Shareholder Election Form has been provided so that should you wish to make an election, or change any of your existing elections, you may complete the form and return it in the reply paid envelope or by facsimile. SHARE PLANS 1. CAP ON PARTICIPATION IN SHARE PLANS A change has been made to the rules of the Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRP) and Bonus Option Plan (BOP) in respect of the final dividend payable for the year ended 30 September 2000 and future dividends. Pursuant to the rules of both the DRP and the BOP, future participation in both Plans has been capped at a maximum of 50,000 shares for each shareholder's total shareholding and this cap applies for the final dividend and future dividends. Given the level of the cap, approximately 99.5% of the Bank's shareholders will not be affected by the change and will be able to fully participate in either Plan. 2. PRICING PERIOD FOR SHARE PLANS The rules of both the DRP and the BOP have been amended so that in future the calculation of the weighted average share price will be the first five trading days after the relevant record date for each dividend. This amendment will apply for the dividend to be paid in December 20OO and for future dividends. A copy of the Terms and Conditions governing the DRP and BOP is available on the Bank's internet site at www.anz.com or from ANZ Share Registry. 3. HOW TO JOIN Almost half of our shareholders currently participate in the DRP or the BOP. Should you wish to participate in either plan, or change your existing election, please complete and return the enclosed Shareholder Election Form. PRIVILEGE CARD 4. 2001 SHAREHOLDER PRIVILEGE CARD For the 2001 year the Bank will offer a Shareholder Privilege Card to those shareholders resident in Australia or New Zealand with a minimum shareholding of 300 shares. Recently shareholders with less than 300 shares were offered an opportunity to increase their shareholding to 300 shares. If you hold at least 300 shares as at 1 January 2001 your Shareholder Privilege Card will be posted to you during January 2OOl. The benefits associated with the card for the 2001 year will be set out in a brochure accompanying the card. INFORMATION FOR SHAREHOLDERS 5. DIVIDENDS BY DIRECT CREDIT For those shareholders who currently receive their dividend by cheque the Bank strongly recommends the payment of dividends by direct credit as being safer, faster and not subject to the risk of mail going astray. If direct credit is used the funds can be credited to your nominated bank account on the day the dividend is paid in Australia in A$, in New Zealand in NZ$ or in United Kingdom in GBP. A dividend advice will still be provided to you either electronically or by post. The enclosed Shareholder Election Form in respect of direct crediting of dividends may be completed and returned. 6. ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION A significant number of shareholders have already registered to receiv information, including the Annual Report electronically. If you would also like to receive material electronically please go to www.anz.com click on shareholders', click on 'view your personal shareholding' and then follow the prompts. You will need to have your Shareholder Reference Number (your SRN or HIN) available to enable you to register. 7. ANNUAL REPORT ELECTION A number of shareholders have elected either not to receive a hard copy of the Annual Report or alternatively to view it electronically over the web. This is a popular election and one the Bank encourages as it results in a saving of costs. If you currently receive a hard copy of the Annual Report and no longer wish to receive it, the enclosed Shareholder Election Form may be completed and returned. 8. 2000 FINAL DIVIDEND The Final Dividend for the 2OOO financial year will be paid on l5 December 2OOO. The record date (the date when you must be registered as a shareholder to receive the dividend) will be 9 November 2000. The ex-dividend date for trading on the ASX will be 2 November 2000. NEW ZEALAND SHAREHOLDERS 9. NZ RESIDENT WITHHOLDING TAX If you are a New Zealand resident shareholder, you may have noticed that for the Interim Dividend paid in July 2000, NZ Resident Withholding Tax("RWT")was not deducted. This change occurred because last March management of the share registry was moved from Auckland to Melbourne and there was no longer an obligation to deduct RWT in New Zealand. One advantage was that the gross amount of the dividend could be paid to all shareholders. For those shareholders who are taxable in New Zealand on the dividends, they will need to ensure that the dividends are still included as part of their taxable income (even if they have not in the past been required to file a tax return) and pay tax accordingly. There are expected to be a small number of New Zealand shareholders who may become provisional taxpayers as a result of the change to the way the dividend is paid. This may be the case for any shareholder who has tax to pay of more than NZ $2,500 on income for the year to 31 March 2001 which does not have New Zealand tax deducted by the payer (such as the ANZ dividend). Such shareholders should consider seeking tax advice on their position. 10. NZ PARTICIPANTS IN THE DRP AND BOP The remaining small cash balances retained in NZ resident shareholders' DRP and BOP accounts after each dividend has in the past been calculated in NZ$. With the move of the NZ share reqister to Melbourne it is now proposed) that the small credit balances in participants'DRP and BOP accounts will be converted from NZ$ to A$ at the exchange rate applicable on a date to be selected by the Bank. In future all DRP and BOP calculations will be in A$. The change will have no impact on the number of shares issued to participants under the DRP or BOP. 11. PAYMENT IN NEW ZEALAND DOLLARS In the past dividends have been paid in New Zealand or Australian currency based on which register the shares were located. With the merging of the registers it is now proposed that for shareholders with a NZ resident address dividends may be paid by direct credit to either an Australian bank account in A$, to a New Zealand bank account in NZ$ or if there is no direct credit election then by cheque in NZ$. To have your dividend paid by direct credit the enclosed Shareholder Election Form may be completed and returned. If you would like to change any of your elections please complete and return the enclosed Shareholder Election Form. Should there be any additional information you seek regarding your shareholding, or the matters raised in this letter, please contact your local ANZ Share Registry atone of the following contact numbers. AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND UNITED KINGDOM OTHER COUNTRIES 1800 11 33 99 0800 174 007 (0117) 930 6504 (61 3) 9615 5989 J Staffer COMPANY SECRETARY A full copy of the Shareholder Election Form is available for purchase from ASX Customer Service on 1 300 300 279. Charges apply.