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Westpac eyeing local M&A opportunities

Westpac eyeing local M&A opportunities

(17 September 2004 – Australia) Westpac chief executive Dr David Morgan has said consolidation in Australia’s banking markets has yet to "run its course" and that the bank wants to participate when M&A opportunities arise. Speaking at an industry function, Morgan said the bank saw a lot of both organic and M&A opportunities in its home market.

At a time when both Commonwealth Bank and ANZ are boosting their operations in overseas markets such as China, he said Westpac would concentrate on markets it already operated in.

Morgan said the "spectre of irrational, price-based competition" remained in the market place but that history showed this sort of activity to be short-lived.

He acknowledged that new niche players were putting pressure on margins and that banks were boosting efforts to protect their share of lending markets.

Morgan said he expected credit growth to head back towards the long term trend of 10 percent down from 15 percent high of recent times.
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