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ANZ Bank Debt Hiring Spree Boosts Loan Market Share in Asia

ANZ Bank Debt Hiring Spree Boosts Loan Market Share in Asia
Signage is displayed on the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) headquarters in Sydney, Australia. Photographer: Sergio Dionisio/Bloomberg

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. boosted its Asia loan market share and rose to the joint No. 1 spot in the Philippines after more than quadrupling its debt team in the region.

Australia’s third-largest lender increased its debt capital markets staff in the Asia-Pacific region to more than 80 from less than 20 three years ago, according to Reuben Tucker, global head of bond origination. Will Clay, vice-chairman of debt capital markets, and Cecily Fan, head of Asia primary loan sales, who both started July 4 in Hong Kong, are among recent hires. Carl Roberts, Asia head of loan syndications, specialized lending, begins next month in Singapore.

“There was an acknowledgment that to service our clients this was an absolutely critical part of the business we needed to build,” Tucker said in a phone interview from Hong Kong. “We’re looking to bring our global customers to the Asian capital markets and take our Asia-Pacific clients to a global investor base.”

ANZ Bank, under Chief Executive Officer Mike Smith, hopes to grab a bigger share of a syndicated loans market in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan that grew 75 percent to $383.5 billion last year and a market for U.S. dollar, euro or yen bonds that totaled $145.2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Melbourne-based bank is seeking to expand all parts of its business in the region as competition intensifies at home and moved global head of capital markets, Cathryn Carver, to Hong Kong from Sydney in September.

Asian Revenue

Total employees in the Asia-Pacific region rose to 14,513 as at March 31 from 10,200 a year earlier, Kevin Foley, a Sydney-based spokesman for the bank, said in an e-mailed response to questions. The region accounted for 15 percent of revenue in the first half to March, Foley said. ANZ Bank is forecasting 20 percent of revenue from the Asia-Pacific in the full year ending Sept. 30, 2012, and between 25 percent to 30 percent in 2017, he said.

ANZ Bank is the equal top arranger of loans in the Philippines this year, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Malayan Banking Bhd., Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc all with a 13.7 percent market share.

It is the No. 2 arranger of Asia-Pacific loans outside of Japan, behind State Bank of India, holding the spot as its market share grew to 6 percent this year from 4.9 percent in 2010, Bloomberg data show. Its share of U.S. dollar, euro or yen bonds in the region outside of Japan rose to 1.8 percent this year from 0.9 percent, putting it two spots higher in 18th place.

In the Singapore dollar bond market, ANZ Bank is ranked No. 4, up from fifth in 2010, the data show.

Growing Business

The 80 members of the debt capital markets team are split mainly between Hong Kong and Singapore and ANZ Bank will add more people as its business grows, Tucker said.

“We’re going to be adding more local-currency capabilities over the next few years and the Indonesian rupiah is a market we’re looking closely at,” Tucker said.

The bank is “not looking to be all things to all people” and will maintain a strong focus on natural resources, utilities and infrastructure, and food and agriculture, he said.

“That’s a logical extension of the bank’s traditional competencies,” Tucker said. “There’s a strong link between what Australia has and what Asia needs.”

Other recent hires include London-based Fergus Elder as head of global loans and capital markets for Europe, and another banker whose name cannot yet be made public who will drive the loans business in Taiwan from Sept. 1, according to John Corrin, global head of loan syndications.

“We’ve got some 18 branches in Taiwan, 28 in Indonesia and eight in Vietnam,” Corrin said in a phone interview from Hong Kong. “We rely heavily on our colleagues in those branch networks to identify loans and bonds opportunities for us.”

Having Elder based in London will allow ANZ Bank to better service its clients such as BHP Billiton Ltd., which conduct their financing operations from the city, Corrin said. Another two people are likely to be hired to assist him, he said.

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