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Westpac to reduce stake in its wealth management arm

Australia’s Westpac Banking is planning to divest a part of its share in its wealth management arm Bankers Trust Investment Management (BTIM) to raise around A$700m ($544m).

westpac

The financial firm is planning to bring down its stake in BTIM from the current 59% to between 31% and 40%.

The bank, Australia’s second largest in terms of market value, said in a statement that through the sale it intends to increase its common equity Tier-1 ratio by 10-15 basis points.

The bank will sell around 55 million shares in BTIM through a bookbuild for institutional investors over the next two days.

The Financial Review quoted Westpac chief financial officer Peter King as saying that the transaction would help the bank realise part of the investment in BTIM to increase their capital ratios, while still owning a significant interest in the wealth management arm.

Westpac also plans to sell around 27 million shares to existing retail shareholders in Westpac or BTIM who will be able to purchase around $5,000 or $10,000 worth of BTIM ordinary shares at the same price paid by institutions.

The bank will open the retail offer on 22 June and close it on 10 July. Westpac also plans to lodge a prospectus with the Australian Securities Exchange in the week of 22 June.


Image: Westpac intends to bring down its share in Bankers Trust Investment Management from 59% to between 31% and 40%. Photo: courtesy of digitalart/freedigitalphotos.net.