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Aussie banks gather assets in Asia

Aussie banks gather assets in Asia

(03 April 2013 – Australia) According to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Australian banks have invested massively in Asia, with holdings of Asian assets jumping by 315 percent since 2008. The RBA said the exposure of Australian-owned banks in Asian countries rose from A$27 billion in late 2007 to A$112 billion in December 2012 due mostly to the withdrawal of struggling European banks from Asia.

'The bulk of Australian banks' exposures are to the financial centres of Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as China and Japan, the two largest economies in the region,' said an RBA report

'ANZ has accounted for a large part of the growth and its overall exposure to Asia is much bigger than those of the other banks,' the report said. Other major Aussie banks, however, have limited themselves to cross border banking services such as trade finance and foreign exchange.

The Aussie banks' larger Asian reach is due to their expanding business ties with Asian firms looking to invest in Australia and from Australian and foreign corporations expanding their operations in Asia.

Figures also showed Asian banks' interest in Australia have also grown, especially in the syndicated loan market where Asian lenders' now have 23 percent of the local market, up from 13 percent five years ago.

Over the same period their share of the larger Australian business loan market rose from 3 percent to 5 percent.
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