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Provides technical expertise to leading Malaysian Bank

Document date:  Mon 19 Jan 1998
Published:  Mon 19 Jan 1998 00:00:00
Document No:  134148
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  N
Classification: 

HOMEX - Melbourne                                                     

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The attached announcement was released today by Sime Bank Berhad in
Kuala Lumpur. Sime Bank Berhad, the fifth largest commercial bank in
Malaysia, is a 60% owned subsidiary of Sime Darby Berhad, Malaysia's
leading multinational conglomerate.

ANZ has been asked to help Sime Bank put in place best practice
credit risk management and asset and liability management systems. To
do this, we will be providing a small team led by our General Manager
Singapore, Mr Richard Martin. Mr Martin, who is also a director of
Sime Merchant Bankers Berhad representing ANZ, knows both the company
and the region well.

ANZ has had a long association with Sime Bank and its predecessor,
being a founding 26% shareholder of its subsidiary Sime Merchant
Bankers Berhad, in 1973.

Commenting on the announcement, ANZ Chief Executive Officer Mr John
McFarlane said: "We are pleased that ANZ was asked to provide expert
management support to Sime Bank Berhad, a long time associate of
ours, and to be able to demonstrate in this way our commitment to the
region. It reflects well on our international reputation and
capabilities."

ANZ has had a representative office in Malaysia since 1971, the
longest presence there of any Australian bank.    

For media enquiries, please contact:


Tania Hudson                        Rob Gerrand
Head of Group Media Relations       Acting Head of Group Marketing
Ph: (03) 9273 6955 or 041 123 3390  Ph: (03) 9273 4707 or 041 113 4904


Background information

* Sime Bank Berhad is the fifth largest commercial bank in Malaysia,
with total assets of RM28 billion(A$10b), or roughly 5% of the
market. The bank offers a full range of traditional commercial
banking services, and, through a number of subsidiaries, engages in
other financial services including consumer and industrial financing,
merchant banking, leasing, stockbroking and general insurance.

* Sime Bank Berhad has a network of 80 branches in Malaysia, and has
full commercial banking licences in Singapore (7 branches), Brunei
(one branch) and Thailand (one branch).

* Sime Bank Berhad is a 60.3% owned subsidiary of Sime Darby Berhad,
Malaysia's leading multinational conglomerate. The core businesses of
SDB include plantations, tyre manufacturing, heavy equipment, motor
vehicle distribution, property development, financial services and
engineering gas and oil.

* Sime Darby Berhad, an ANZ customer, is represented in 22 countries
and has extensive trading and distribution interests in Australia
(Sime Darby Aust Ltd, Hastings Deering Aust Ltd).

* In April 1996 Sime Darby Berhad acquired 60.3% of United Malayan
Banking Corporation Berhad. The name of the bank was subsequently
changed to Sime Bank Berhad.



A NEW CEO AND STRATEGIC TECHNICAL TIE-UP WITH ANZ

Sime Bank Berhad, the financial services arm of Sime Darby Berhad,
announced today that YM Tunku Tan Sri Ahmad Yahaya has been appointed
Executive Chairman and CEO of Sime Bank.

In making the announcement, Tan Sri Nik Mohamed Yaacob, a Director of
the Bank and Group Chief Executive of Sime Darby Berhad, also said
that Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) had been invited
and had agreed to provide technical assistance to the Bank.

Nik Mohamed said that ANZ, a major international bank with operations
in 43 countries and a particular focus on Asia, has been an associate
of Sime Bank and its subsidiary Sime Merchant Bank since 1973. "ANZ,
by agreeing to second some key executives, will allow us to access
first rate risk management and technical expertise, and help as
upgrade the operations of the Bank" he said.

He said that these initiatives, which will take effect from 19th
January 1998, follow the retirement of the current CEO, Datuk Ismail
Zakaria on the same date, and the need to consolidate the Bank's
operations during these difficult times.

Both the Sime Bank Berhad and the Sime Darby Board of Directors are
confident that YM Tunku Tan Sri Ahmad Yahaya, with his depth of
experience and having served on the Board of Bank Negara (the Central
Bank of Malaysia), will be more than able to provide the leadership
necessary to meet the challenges during this difficult economic
period for the region. Nik Mohamed added, "As CEO, Tunku Ahmad will
look into further strengthening all the areas which we have
identified as as prepare and plan for the best candidate to succeed
him over the medium term. He will be assisted by leading Sime Darby
corporate executives seconded to Sime Bank alongside the strong
technical expertise from ANZ".

Particular attention will be paid to credit risk management, to asset
and liability management, and to the infrastructure necessary to
strengthen the Bank's operations.

Nik Mohamed said that the Boards were confident that, with these
measures, public confidence in the Bank and the Sime Darby Group
would strengthen further.

Contact person:        

Putri Rafidah bt Megat Khas
Group Manager - Communications, Sime Darby Berhad
Tel: 03-2910521


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