June 27, 2019 / 12:22 AM / 5 months ago

CORRECTED-Investec to open bank branch in Australia

(Corrects to remove South African reference in headline and 1st paragraph as licence is to Investec Plc, not Investec Ltd. Changes slug.)

By Paulina Duran

SYDNEY, June 27 (Reuters) - Investec Plc will open a branch in Australia in a push to expand its international network, the bank said on Thursday.

After operating in Australia for over two decades, UK-listed Investec said it had received approval from the country’s regulator to carry on business in the country as a foreign bank from July 1.

The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) declined to comment.

“This is the first time (Investec) has been able to offer clients full access to its parent’s balance sheet and specialist capabilities,” Investec said.

Foreign banks are increasing their presence in Australia once more as they bet on resources and infrastructure investment gathering pace and as regulators push to promote competition in the sector, dominated by its Big Four locals.

Earlier this year, Barclays Plc re-opened in Australia just over two years since the UK-based bank surprised staff by closing its operations as part of a region-wide retrenchment.

“The move is transformational as we will now be able to provide clients with greater international reach, (and) a stronger balance sheet, “ said Milton Samios, chief executive officer of Investec Australia.

Investec provides advice and capital to companies in the resources, power, infrastructure and property sectors, the bank added in the statement. (Reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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