Australia And New Zealan... (ASX:ANZ)
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By Robb M. Stewart
MELBOURNE, Australia--Australia & New Zealand Bank Ltd. (ANZ.AU) said Friday the sale of its Australian life insurance operations remains on track to close in late May, but cautioned that any further capital returns to shareholders would depend in part on regulatory capital demands.
The bank, one of Australia's largest lenders, said it had completed the repurchase of 3 billion Australian dollars (US$2.1 billion) of its own shares, equating to about 3.7% of the ordinary stock issued.
Its capital ratio at the end of December exceeded the Australian prudential regulator's requirements, though New Zealand regulators are considering forcing banks to lift their capital buffers greatly.
Chief Financial Offer Michelle Jablko said that when the funds from the sale of the life insurance business to Zurich Insurance Group AG (ZURN.EB) are received, any further capital management would take into account factors including actual and potential capital requirements as well as ongoing business needs.
Ms. Jablko said ANZ has since 2016 increased its closely watched Common Equity tier 1 capital ratio from 9.4% to 11.3% and it has been the only major bank in Australia also to reduce the number of shares on issue.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 21, 2019 19:03 ET (23:03 GMT)
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