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Nov 6 (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ) said on Monday it would close its Philippine retail banking business as big Australian banks try to shed capital-intensive assets amid stiffer bank capital rules.
“This decision is in line with ANZ’s strategic priority to simplify the bank and improve capital efficiency,” the lender said in a statement, adding the move allowed it to focus on institutional banking in the Southeast Asian nation.
ANZ said the last day of service for its Philippine retail banking operations would be Feb. 5, 2018.
Last week, bigger rival Westpac Banking Corp said it would sell its Hastings fund management business to a London-based asset manager.
In July, Australia set new rules for higher capital on the country’s largest banks with targets that would imply a combined capital shortfall of as much as A$8 billion ($6.12 billion), and raised the target of major banks’ Tier 1 ratio by 150 basis points to at least 10.5 percent by 2020.
In its full-year results, announced last month, ANZ said its common equity Tier-1 capital ratio at Sept. 30 was 10.6 percent, above the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) target.
The company’s shares were slightly lower, down 0.2 percent, in early trade in a flat overall market. ($1 = 1.3074 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney and Stephen Coates)