The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is falling lower this month. Shares in the Aussie bank are down 3.3% since closing at $26.11 per share on September 1.
That means Westpac is underperforming the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) over the same period by 0.8%. So, what’s driving the ASX bank share at the moment and what’s next for the Aussie institution?
Why the Westpac share price is down 3% in September
Interestingly, there have been no price-sensitive announcements from the Aussie bank this month. That hasn’t stopped investors from selling down their Westpac shares amid fears of a broader sell-off.
There have been a couple of noteworthy updates from the bank in recent weeks. That includes an update on the proposed sale of its Pacific businesses.
The Aussie bank announced the sale of Westpac Fiji and the bank’s 89.91% stake in Westpac Bank PNG Limited to Kina Securities Limited (ASX: KSL) for up to $420 million on 7 December 2020.
That deal was subject to regulatory approvals which Papua New Guinea’s Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has now denied. As a result, the sale will not proceed at this time.
There was also the announcement that Catherine McGrath will take over the reins as CEO of Westpac New Zealand on 24 September. However, broad market movements have been the real driver of the Westpac share price this month.
ASX 200 shares more broadly have been under some selling pressure in recent weeks. Banks are naturally leveraged to economic upside through the likes of business and residential housing loans.
However, fears over Evergrande Group (HKG: 3333) and an overheated share market have hit the Westpac share price in recent weeks.
Shares in the Aussie bank are now down 3.3% since 1 September but remain towards the top end of their 52-week trading range.