ANZ finalises the sale of Asian businesses

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) had a very different strategy of expanding in Asia compared to its Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) and National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB).

Mike Smith was convinced that Asia was the key to delivering good profit growth for shareholders just after the GFC. After all, the region was growing at a much stronger rate than western countries at the time.

It seemed like a sound strategy to me, but sadly it just hasn’t worked out in ANZ’s favour. It wasn’t able to tap into the growth of wealth of the average Asian citizen in China or the other countries it bought banks in.

In-fact, in hindsight it turned out that staying in Australia would have been the better option because Australia’s economy kept growing and the housing market has had the biggest bull run in recent times, perhaps ever.

Today, ANZ advised that it has finalised the sale of its previously announced six retail and wealth businesses in Asia, which will allow it to focus on institutional and large corporate customers.

ANZ has transferred its retail and wealth businesses in Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore to DBS Bank. ANZ also finalised the sale of its retail business in Vietnam.

Farhan Faruqui of ANZ said “With the sale of these retail businesses in Asia now finalised we can further strengthen our focus on supporting large corporate and institutional customers moving goods and capital across the region.”

Foolish takeaway

ANZ is currently trading with a grossed-up dividend yield of 8.22%. This is an attractive dividend yield, but I wouldn’t be hasty about buying shares at the current price due to the potential for Australians to suffer from being buried in debt and the consequence of rising interest rates.

I’d rather buy this top dividend stock for income over ANZ.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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