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Report: 2 Japanese insurers eye ANZ's wealth management biz

Japan's MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. and are said to be eyeing a possible acquisition of 's wealth management business once it is put on the auctionblock, The Australian reported July21, without citing a source.

Japanese insurers had been looking for growth opportunitiesabroad given a sluggisheconomy, negativeinterest rates and a declining population at home.

ANZ has yet to appoint an investment bank to sell thebusiness, but discussions regarding a sale are believed to be underway, thepublication reported. The assets are expected to fetch nearly A$6 billion,according to market analysts' estimate.

ANZ had been selling some assetsand trimmingstakes in otherinvestments asregulatory changes in the country push banks to boost their equity levels.

In addition to its wealth management business, theAustralian bank is looking to sell its online brokerage arm, ANZ ShareInvesting, which could fetch nearly A$250 million. The price of the unit,however, could be lower if the margin lending operation is not included in adeal.

Investment manager Shaw and Partners, together with OrdMinett, and CMC Markets are possible buyers of the unit, according to thereport.

As of July 21, US$1was equivalent to A$1.33.