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Progress is ANZ-NHB dispute

Document date:  Thu 04 Jan 2001
Published:  Thu 04 Jan 2001 11:19:18
Document No:  171887
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  Y
Classification:  Other

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LI      2001-01-04  ASX-SIGNAL-G

HOMEX - Melbourne                                                     

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ANZ today confirmed it had been successful in its application to the
Supreme Court of India to lodge with the Court the monies in dispute
with the National Housing Bank (NHB) of India.

The decision agreeing to ANZ's request was handed down in New Delhi
yesterday and followed an application filed by ANZ in the Supreme
Court of India on 1 December 2000 regarding lodgement of the disputed
monies.

ANZ Chief Financial Officer Mr Peter Marriott said "The decision by
the Supreme Court is an important step in putting the matter behind
us as it halts further accumulation of interest on the disputed
amount and caps ANZ's contingent liability in this dispute."

Following the decision, ANZ will deposit with the Court an amount of
Indian Rupees (INR) 15.22 billion (A$596 million) comprising INR9.12
billion (A$357 million) awarded to ANZ by Arbitrators in 1997 plus
interest of INR6.1 billion (A$239 million).

ANZ sold its Indian operations to Standard Chartered in April 2000 as
part of the sale of Grindlays. ANZ has provided Standard Chartered
with indemnities on credit and litigation matters, including the
National Housing Bank matter. Provision for these indemnities was
made in ANZ's 2000 Financial Results.

As announced at ANZ's 2000 Annual General Meeting, ANZ has also been
successful in its application to expedite the hearing of the case in
the Supreme Court, which is now scheduled for April 2001.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Paul Edwards 
Head of Group Media Relations
Tel 03-9273 6955 or
0409-655 550 
Email edwardpl2@anz.com

NOTE FOR EDITORS

In 1992 Grindlays in India received a claim of approximately INR5.06
billion (A$198 million) from the National Housing Bank of India. The
claim arose out of certain cheques drawn by NHB in favour of
Grindlays, the proceeds of which were credited to the account of one
of the customers of Grindlays.

In March 1997, pursuant to an Arbitration Agreement, Arbitrators made
an award in favour of Grindlays and NHB paid Grindlays the principal
and interest due under the award of INR9.12 billion (A$357 million).
Following a February 1998 decision by the Special Court in Mumbai to
set the award aside, Grinclays filed an appeal with the Supreme
Court of India seeking that the Special Court's orders be set aside.

Should Grindlays be required to repay NHB the INR9.12 billion (A$357
million), interest at 18% on that amount may also be required to be
paid. The lodgement of the disputed monies with the Supreme Court of
India halts further accumulation of interest.