14 September 2012 6:46am
GE Capital's one-third stake in Bank of Ayudhya may be on the market, with two Malaysian banks named as probable bidders in local media reports. ANZ has, in the past, been identified as a prospect to bid for the stake.
The bank is the fifth largest in Thailand.
When Mike Smith, ANZ's CEO, was asked about this, in an interview with Reuters last month, he said, "I wouldn't be as interested in a stake in a local bank there. I'd rather have our own operation.
"That's not to say that would always be the case, but particularly while we have these capital rules hanging over our head it makes a decision like that a little more difficult."
Any minority holding in banks counts as a deduction against capital for banks, a policy of APRA that is leading ANZ to reassess its portfolio of bank investments in Asia.