ANZ acquire Laotian bank for $9m

1 March 2007

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has bought a 60 per cent stake in Laotian bank Vientiane Commercial (VCB).

The $9.3 million deal comes after 15 months of negotiations between Australia's third largest retail bank and VCB's leading shareholders, who will remain with the company as investors.

ANZ however will have majority representation on the board, which may also include representatives from International Finance Corporation, the private banking wing affiliated with the World Bank, which is widely tipped to acquire a ten per cent stake in VCB soon.

The move, which sees ANZ's further strengthen its operations in Asia, is hoped by ANZ chairman Bob Edgar to provide a platform for ANZ to develop management capability in business and retail and allow for the continued expansion of VCB.

VCB, which is the only privately owned commercial bank in Laos, was founded in 1993 is now estimated to be worth $54 million.

Prior to reform in late 1980s there were no commercial banks in Laos

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