WEALTH MANAGEMENT | Tony Chua, Australia

ANZ declines AMP's US$3.6bln stake sale offer

Bank preferred to focus on integrating ING and ‘organic growth’.

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., responding to a report that AMP Ltd. is considering selling a 30 percent stake to the bank, said it's focusing only on "organic growth."

AMP is considering a A$4 billion (US$3.6 billion) proposal to sell ANZ the controlling stake in return for the Melbourne-based bank's ING wealth-management unit, the Age newspaper reported, citing unidentified people it said were close to AMP. Official talks haven't taken place, the newspaper said.

"At present our sole focus is on integrating ING and organic growth," said Paul Edwards, a
Melbourne-based spokesman for ANZ. AMP doesn't comment on speculation, said Sarah Hudson, a Sydney-based spokeswoman for the asset manager.

National Australia Bank Ltd. agreed in December to take over Axa Asia Pacific for A$13.3 billion, trumping a joint offer from AMP and Axa SA, France's largest insurer.

View the full story in Bloomberg.

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