After US Private equity player Lone Star funds put up its distressed Japanese lender Tokyo Star Bank for sale last month, Australian banking major ANZ is reportedly interested in acquiring a strategic stake in the troubled lender.
Market watchers believe that it is more likely that ANZ will seek to acquire a stake in TSB as opposed to healthier rival Aozora Bank, which according to a report in The Australian Financial Review is also a target for Melbourne based ANZ.
Australian insurance major IAG is diversifying its earnings base by taking a strategic stake in Chinese general insurance company Bohai Property Insurance. IAG will pay $100 million for a 20 per cent stake in the property and casualty insurer.
The company is seeking to increase the proportion of revenue that is generated from Asia according to chief executive Mike Wilkins.
The results of the most recent monthly business survey conducted by Australian banking major NAB makes it clear that the economy is operating at two speeds, with the mining sector leaving the rest of the economy in its wake. Overall, though, the economy is merely limping by.
Apart from a dip during the first couple of months, due to natural disasters hitting eastern Australia, the NAB index of business conditions hit its lowest level in May since early 2009, when the economy was still dealing with the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
Lisa Gray, the boss of personal banking at Australian banking major NAB says that despite offering the lowest standard variable home loan rate in the industry, the lender remains immune to rising level of arrears that seems to be affecting the mortgage books of its big four rivals.
Ms Gray said she was still “very comfortable” with arrears rates in the 2009 and 2010 mortgage vintages.
There is a simple logic that underpins investment. Risk versus reward. Nobody will invest in something if they do not see the potential for a return and they expect a greater return for a greater risk. Simple. So how does this relate to coal power stations in the current climate?
Investment in infrastructure seems to be a safe and long-term bet – this has long been the case for power infrastructure. Small risk but consistent reward. It’s not anymore. Despite the noise in the public sphere doubting climate change science, there is little doubt among the scientific community and most governments know that it’s only a matter of time before they need to act on this issue.
Australian banking major was warned over a year ago that its IT systems were under intense pressure and could buckle.
The bank was warned by consultancy firm Ernst & Young, which had been hired to analyse the company’s operations, and who then spent many months studying the lenders Information Technology systems, concluding that ANZ could save as much as $70 million by consolidating its platforms onto Oracle.
Market regulator ASIC is requiring that credit ratings agencies operating in the country will now be forced to issue compliance reports which detail their obligations relating to the integrity and quality of their ratings process, and how they are managing any potential conflicts of interest that may exist.
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission on Wednesday released a consultative paper designed to boost the integrity of the financial system by requiring credit ratings agencies to lodge annual compliance reports with it every year. ASIC has given market participants until July 13th to respond to the paper, after which it will begin the process of implementing an annual compliance reporting schedule.
After being downgraded by credit ratings agency Moody’s Investor Services last week, the major Australia banks may find themselves the target of short selling by global hedge fund managers.
Over the next few months the Australian central bank will tighten interest rates despite concern by executives who run some of the country’s largest companies that the economy faces problems that are not being reflected or accounted for properly, due to the impact of the booming mining sector.
Flooding in Queensland and higher interest have taken their toll on the market for housing in Australia which saw finance for home loans in March fall to a 10 month low, suggesting that the property market will remain flat throughout the rest of the year, particularly since the prospect of even higher interest rates loom.