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ANZ Scraps Chief Australia Economist Role in Research Overhaul

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June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. has revamped the structure of its economics and research team in a move that has scrapped the role of chief Australia economist that was held by Ivan Colhoun.

The Melbourne-based bank earlier confirmed the departure of Tony Morriss, head of rates research in Sydney, after his position was moved to Singapore as part of a plan to increase its focus on the Asia-Pacific region. ANZ said it is looking for another role for Colhoun within the bank.

“ANZ has changed the structure of its economics and research team in Australia to align to our key client segments in natural resources, agriculture, utilities and infrastructure,” spokesman Stephen Ries wrote today in an e-mail to Bloomberg News. “Unfortunately this has meant the role of Chief Australia Economist is not part of our new structure.”

The reorganization includes the creation of a new industry-focused economics team based in Australia reporting directly to Chief Economist Warren Hogan, Ries said.

ANZ is seeking to double the percentage of profit it generates from businesses outside Australia and New Zealand to as much as 30 percent by 2017, according to a strategy briefing held in March 2011.

“ANZ will continue to provide analysis of key economic events in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific,” Ries wrote in the statement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Narayanan Somasundaram in Sydney at nsomasundara@bloomberg.net; Candice Zachariahs in Sydney at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Garfield Reynolds at greynolds1@bloomberg.net; Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net Nicholas Reynolds, Naoto Hosoda

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