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Annual/Concise Report/Top 20

Document date:  Tue 14 Nov 2000
Published:  Tue 14 Nov 2000 09:53:41
Document No:  169958
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  N
Classification:  Annual Report , Top 20 shareholders , Full Year Accounts , Full Year Audit Review , Full Year Directors' Statement , Concise Financial Report

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LI      2000-11-14  ASX-SIGNAL-G

HOMEX - Melbourne                                                     

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CHAIRMAN'S LETTER

ANZ has again delivered on our promises to shareholders in the year
ended 30 September 2000 profit rose 15% to $1,703m, a new record for
the company. Earnings per share grew by 15% to exceed $1.00 for the
first time and the dividend was increased by 8 cents to 64 cents per
share and was fully franked.

It is also pleasing to see this performance reflected in the share
price, which rose in excess of 25% during the year and recorded all
time highs.

Management and staff are to be complimented for these achievements 
which were made in a rapidly changing and sometimes volatile world.

On 27 April we announced the sale of the Grindlays business to
Standard Chartered Bank. The transaction was completed on 31 July
with ANZ receiving a total consideration of $2.3b including a $1.2b
premium over book value. With the changes in world banking, the sale
of Grindlays to Standard Chartered Bank enables ANZ to receive value
today from a buyer which specialises in emerging markets banking.
While we retain the liability for the dispute with the National
Housing Bank of India, even after provision for this and other items,
we realised over $400m net profit from the sale. The sale of Grindlays
allowed us in one move to "simplify and focus" our international
network in line with the strategy outlined in last years annual
report. It also represents a substantial step in our program to
reposition ANZ as a more balanced organisation.

In conjunction with the announcement of the sale of Grindlays we also
announced a $1b on market share buyback to enhance ANZ's capital
management. As at 30 September this buyback was approximately 50%
complete. Recently in October we announced that participation in the
Dividend Reinvestment Plan and Bonus Option Plan would be capped at a
maximum of 50,000 share for each shareholder as a further capital
management initiative.

In July we outlined further details of our strategy which focuses on
the themes of specialisation, eTransformation and growth. The
establishment of individual customer businesses to focus on general
banking, wealth management and small business customers underscores
our commitment to improving the customer experience. This strategy is
discussed further in the CEO's strategic overview and the business
commentaries.

Our focus is now shifting to the application of eCommerce with
greater penetration of our customer base than our peers and first
mover advantage in business to business eCommerce. The announcement
of the Asian internet banking joint venture with Oversea Chinese
Banking Corporation of Singapore is an important building block in
our plans to leverage our eCommerce expertise in regional markets.

In terms of outlook for the 2001 year, while there is some prospect of
further interest rate rises and a moderately slowing economy, ANZ has 
a strong financial foundation, a clear strategy and good momentum in 
key areas to continue to deliver shareholder value.


C Goode
CHAIRMAN


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