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Westpac throws down gauntlet over New Zealand bank

Westpac throws down gauntlet over New Zealand bank

(Australia) Westpac has joined ANZ in filing an application with the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) to buy National Bank of New Zealand (NBNZ). In a statement, Westpac said its interest in the Lloyds TSB-owned bank was "consistent with its [Westpac’s] strategy of evaluating all acquisition opportunities that arise in its core markets of Australia and New Zealand".

ANZ, for its part, has told the NZCC that a takeover of NBNZ would not "affect the highly competitive and dynamic nature of the [New Zealand banking] industry".

"Post-acquisition ANZ will continue to be constrained by existing competitors, near and new entrants and the countervailing power of purchasers," ANZ said in a submission to the NZCC.

NBNZ has been tipped by analysts to be sold for more than A$6 billion.

National Bank of Australia and Commonwealth Bank of Australia are also tipped to formally lodge their interest in purchasing NBNZ in the near future.

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