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S&P says ANZ integration with NBNZ going well

S&P says ANZ integration with NBNZ going well

(3 September 2004 – New Zealand) Following a review of ANZ’s integration with National Bank of New Zealand, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has affirmed the bank’s AA-/Stable/A-1+ counterparty credit ratings. S&P said the integration of the two banks was proceeding well and was consistent with its expectations.

It said the ratings benefited from the fact that it was owned by ANZ and the bank’s status as a material and core part of the group.

S&P said it recognised the bank’s market leading position, its excellent asset quality, stable profitability, and acceptable capitalisation relative to risk.

However, the ratings agency said that although nonperforming assets were low, the existence of large lending exposures increased the potential for volatility in ANZ National’s nonperforming assets if there was any deterioration of a large single credit.

Another moderating factor was ANZ National’s reliance on short-dated wholesale funding.

"Despite some prospect of customer attrition during the integration process, particularly given the bank’s dominant market position across core businesses and the competitive New Zealand banking market, Standard & Poor’s is expecting the remaining aspects of the integration process to be completed satisfactorily, without any material diminution in the ANZ National’s stand-alone business and financial profile," S & P credit analyst Peter Sikora said.

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