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Is the ANZ (ASX:ANZ) share price a buy after selling its Cambodian bank?

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price could come under scrutiny this morning after announcing to the market that it will be selling its 55% stake in the Cambodian joint venture, ANZ Royal Bank.

A few years ago I was interested in ANZ due to its Asian investments, it made it quite different to the other big four banks.

However, ANZ currently is reviewing all of its international partnerships in order to simplify the business and only operate wholly-owned institutional businesses in the region.

Farhan Faruqui of ANZ said “This joint venture has been beneficial to both ANZ and Royal Group over the past 13 years, with ANZ Royal now a strong and successful bank.”

According to ANZ, the proceeds inclusive of transaction costs, taxes and the release of foreign currency translation reserves results in around a $30 million loss on sale of completion for ANZ.

The transaction has been approved by Royal Group, but remains subject to final regulatory approval from the National Bank of Cambodia and the Ministry of Commerce. ANZ will continue to own its stake and manage ANZ Royal for up to 12 months to ensure a smooth transition.

Mr Faruqui continued “We remain committed to our institutional presence in Asia. Our regional network is an important differentiator for ANZ and key to our ambition to be the best bank to support companies with trade and capital flows throughout the  region.”

Recently ANZ has also sold Metrobank Card Corporation in the Philippines and Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank in China.

ANZ’s institutional bank has a presence in 15 different markets in Asia, so it still has a strong presence in Asia.

Foolish takeaway

If you think ANZ should focus on Australia and New Zealand then today’s announcement is another good move, if you wanted ANZ to be an Asian retail powerhouse then this isn’t so good.

The ANZ share price hasn’t done much over the past five years, indeed it’s almost at the same level. As always, the best thing about ANZ is its dividend. It currently has a grossed-up yield of 8.2%.

I think there’s a growing chance of a recession considering how indebted households are at the moment. I would avoid ANZ shares right now, until a recession.

Instead, I’d much rather buy shares of this top business, which is likely to do even better in a recession

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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 Scott Phillips.

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