ANZ Bank completed the sale of its stake in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank Monday and announced plans for a Aus$1.5 billion (US$1.15 billion) share buyback with the funds.
The lender agreed to offload its 20 percent holding in the company earlier this year for Aus$1.84 billion, with Chinese shipping giant COSCO and Shanghai Sino-Poland Enterprise each taking 10 percent.
The move is part of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group simplifying its business, having announced last year the sale of its retail and wealth management arms in five Asian countries to Singapore’s DBS.
Last week, it decided to sell its life insurance arm to Swiss giant Zurich for Aus$2.85 billion.
ANZ’s chief financial officer Michelle Jablko said the money from the Shanghai sale would be returned to shareholders, with the bank to buy-back up to Aus$1.5 billion of stock on-market.
‘ANZ’s strong capital position combined with the progress made in simplifying our business means we are now in a position to commence returning surplus capital to shareholders,’ she said.
Jablko added that the divestment of non-core businesses ‘should provide ANZ with flexibility to consider further capital management initiatives in the future’.
ANZ shares were 1.31 percent higher at Aus$28.59 in morning trade.