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ANZ & OCBC Bank withdraw from JV

Document date:  Mon 05 Mar 2001
Published:  Mon 05 Mar 2001 15:46:25
Document No:  173985
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  Y
Classification:  Progress Report

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LI      2001-03-05  ASX-SIGNAL-G

HOMEX - Melbourne                                                     

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Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) and
Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC Bank) today
announced they had agreed to withdraw from their joint venture to
develop a web-led bank in Asia.

The announcement follows six months of detailed work on the stand
alone business model which indicated the financial returns were not
sufficiently compelling given the market entry costs and the softer
economic environment.

Chairman of the ANZ-OCBC joint venture, and Vice-Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of OCBC Bank, Mr Alex Au, said the decision was
consistent with the venture and investment disciplines used by both
parent banks.

"Entry costs in key Asian markets and the up-front investment in
technology associated with a stand-alone entity are significant when
assessed against the required returns," Mr Au said.

"Although it is disappointing for everyone not to proceed, we are
pleased to have reached an early understanding on the project's
viability before sizeable expenditures were incurred," he said.

Mr Au also praised the work of the joint venture's Chief Executive
Officer, Mr Edmund Koh, who recently took up the position: "Edmund
contributed greatly to the venture's review and helped it reach its
appropriate conclusion."

ANZ Group Managing Director of Strategy and International, Mr Elmer
Funke Kupper, said ANZ and OCBC Bank would continue to build on the
experience and working relationship which had been established.

"Both banks will benefit from the market and technology research
undertaken, as well as the technical skills and knowledge acquired
during the planning phase," Mr Funke Kupper said.

"With the strong relationship which has developed between the
management teams, should opportunities arise in the future where the
interests of both organisations are aligned, we will look to develop
those opportunities together," he said.

FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES CONTACT:

Paul Edwards                       Dawn Lim
HEAD OF MEDIA RELATIONS            HEAD, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
ANZ                                OCBC Bank

Tel: +61-3-9273 6955 or            Tel: +65-530 1531
     +61-409-655 550

Email: edwardp12@anz.com           Email: dawnlim@ocbc.com.sg