Earnings, Banking & Markets - Your money

386 million bid puts pressure on gina rinehart

AUSTRALIA’S richest woman Gina Rinehart is under pressure to match a bid for the Kidman cattle empire after being trumped by more than $21 million by a group of four Aussie graziers.

The mining boss and her Chinese partner Shanghai CRED have controversially attempted to take over 117-year-old cattle station, but have hit a hurdle with the Australian consortium putting up $386 million for the 101,000 square kilometre property.

The group of wealthy graziers, known as BBHO, made the bid over the weekend to acquire 100 per cent of S Kidman Co Australias largest private landholder with four properties spanning three states and the Northern Territory.

Tom Brinkworth, Sterling Buntine, Malcolm Harris and Viv Oldfield say under their offer, Kidman would stay totally Australian owned, wont require approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), and would triple the size of the cattle herd marketed under the Kidman name.

The four families comprising the consortium are deeply committed to honouring and preserving the Kidman heritage and brand which will continue under the stewardship of highly regarded and successful Australian graziers, Mr Buntine said in a statement on Sunday.

Earlier this month, Ms Rinehart lodged a $365 million Australian-majority bid for 67 per cent of S Kidman and Co, with Chinese-owned Shanghai CRED to hold the other third.

The prospective takeover has attracted controversy for involving a Chinese buyer, after a bid from a Chinese-led consortium earlier this year was scuttled by Treasurer Scott Morrison.

A Rinehart takeover would require approval from the FIRB.

Ms Rinehart argued the BBHO consortium was no guarantee of getting state government approvals and needed to get pastoral leases transferred because of dubious track records.

Crossbencher Nick Xenophon backed the BBHO bid on Sunday.

The South Australian Senator said the BBHO bid came from families with great depth of experience and commercial acumen in running cattle empires and have a plan to grow Kidman.

Where there is a credible, 100 per cent Australian bid, then it would be unforgivable for the federal government not to approve a 100 per cent local big, he told AAP on Sunday.

with AAP

Anz takes a 265 million hit in asia

IN A major backwards step for its overseas operations, ANZ has struck a deal to sell off its retail and wealth operations across Asia.

Singapores DBS bank will pay book value plus $110 million for assets in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Indonesia, which hold $11 billion in loans and represent the bulk of ANZs Asian retail and wealth management business. The sell-off will hit the banks bottom line to the tune of $265 million.

Chief executive Shayne Elliott, who is scaling back the expansion into Asia undertaken by predecessor Mike Smith, said Australias fourth-largest lender is likely to also exit the four remaining countries in which it has a presence. Mr Elliott said ANZs businesses in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines were under review but would not be drawn on a timeline for a possible broader exit.

This is the heart of the business and were continuing to look at the other franchises, Mr Elliott told analysts.

We dont see a future for us in retail and wealth businesses across Asia and we will exit at the right time.

Chief financial officer Michelle Jablko said ANZs return on equity and earnings per share will be subject to a small impact.

ANZ did not give a price tag for the transaction but said the impact on its bottom line including writedowns and transaction costs will be a net loss of about $265 million.

It will be initially higher in the first half of the banks 2017 financial year but will be offset back as the sales progress over future periods.

A trading halt placed on ANZs shares ahead of the announcement on Monday was lifted an hour after the market opened.

At 2.20pm, the shares were up 28 cents, or 1.01 per cent, at $27.90 broadly in line with gains by rivals Commonwealth Bank and Westpac.

DBS will acquire 1.26 million customers across the five countries, and deposits of about $17 million. About 80 per cent of staff will move across.

The businesses being sold are expected to contribute $825 million of revenue and $50 million in cash profit to ANZs 2016 full-year results, due on Thursday.

In May, the bank cut its interim dividend for the first time in seven years after first-half cash profit dropped 24.3 per cent, with a $260 million impairment on its investment in Malaysias AmBank among the one-off hits.

ANZ said its focus in Asia will now be institutional banking across 15 countries.

In retail and wealth, although we have grown a profitable business in Asia, without greater scale ANZs competitive position is not as compelling, Mr Elliott said in a statement.

To make a real difference for our retail and wealth customers, we would need to make further investments in our Asian branch network and digital capability ... (which) do not make sense for us given our competitive position and the returns available to ANZ.

The sales are subject to regulatory approval and are expected to take 18 months.