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Media release - ANZ & Asia

Document date:  Mon 16 Feb 1998
Published:  Mon 16 Feb 1998 00:00:00
Document No:  134812
Document part:  A
Market Flag:  N

HOMEX - Melbourne                                                     

ANZ Chief Executive Officer, Mr John McFarlane, responding to
Standard & Poor's affirming ANZ's AA- rating but placing ANZ on a
"negative rating outlook", today made the following comments:

"We welcome Standard & Poor's decision to affirm ANZ's AA- rating -
we remain in a relatively small group of banks worldwide with this
rating or better. On the change in outlook, as I said when Moody's
made a similar move last month, Standard & Poor's has made this
change for a number of banks around the world with exposures to Asia.
Whilst we understand the sentiment behind this decision, we believe
they have been unduly cautious in our case. As we said at the Annual
General Meeting last month, we believe the potential losses from the
region are containable within our provisioning policy.

We have achieved a significant reduction in our aggregate exposure to
Asia since September. We will continue to manage down our higher risk
exposures whilst preserving relationships with our major clients. The
region remains of strategic importance for ANZ and Australia."

For media enquiries, please contact:

Tania Hudson 
Head of Group Media Relations 
Ph: (03) 9273 6955
Ian Bremner 
Senior Media Relations Manager 
Ph: (03) 9273 6190 
or  (041) 114 0382