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Suncorp postpones chance to address scuttlebutt

Suncorp postpones chance to address scuttlebutt

(20 April 2005 – Australia) Suncorp has postponed next week’s strategy briefing until the first week of June due to chief executive John Mulcahy taking two weeks off work to recover from a back injury. When the presentation does take place, the Suncorp boss can be expected to field questions on a potential merger with St George after analyst speculation.

Citigroup Smith Barney put out a research note saying Suncorp was a "likely eventual dance partner" with St George and that the two banks could form a "fifth pillar".

Citigroup said such a merger was unlikely to occur while St George chief executive Gail Kelly remained at the helm but that the "opportunity may still present itself" if she left the bank to take over at one of the four majors.

Kelly has repeatedly hosed down such speculation, saying she is happy at St George.

In its note, Citigroup said Suncorp was likely to discuss its strategy for cross selling across its banking, insurance and wealth management businesses, when the briefing does take place.

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