State of the future: Why ANZ is excited about Queensland’s potential

A young boy flexes his big strong muscles at the beach.A young boy flexes his big strong muscles at the beach.

Investors awoke to a surprise today, learning of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ)’s move to acquire the banking operations of Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) for $4.9 billion.

The ANZ share price remains in a trading halt, as the bank unveils the planned proceedings of its acquisition.

In broader market moves, the S&P/ASX 200 Financials Index (ASX: XJO) is rangebound today and trades around 1% higher.

ANZ excited on Queensland looking ahead

At a joint Suncorp and ANZ Media Conference, ANZ chair Paul O’Sullivan noted the acquisition will push to strengthen the bank’s presence in Queensland.

He said ANZ was “under-represented in Queensland”, something the transaction will look to fix.

We’ve got about 14% of our book in Queensland versus 20% of Australia’s population living here. We are the smallest of the major four in the Queensland market.

By combining with Suncorp, it gives us a chance to increase scale. And our goal is to drive strong growth in Queensland by attracting additional investment, additional lending, and additional finance.

And overall it will result in much stronger competition and choice for Queensland consumers.

Meanwhile, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliot also said Queensland offered attractive economics when looking ahead. These include areas that align with the bank’s philosophy.

Elliot said:

[Queensland has a] young growing population, fastest growing state in Australia, diversified economy and really big ambitions which we share around sustainability.

O’Sullivan echoed these statements, saying Queensland has had the fastest population growth in Australia over the past 10 years. Added to that, it’s also “the major” destination for internal migration.

O’Sullivan continued:

If we look at the businesses here and, you know, innovation, it’s become quite a strong and powerful source of new ideas.

And on top of that, we have the Olympics coming in the next decade. So we think Queensland is actually the state of the future.

ANZ’s news comes just days after reports it had intentions to purchase accounting software company MYOB for $4.5 billion.

The ANZ share price is down 21% in the past 12 months and 21% down this year to date as well.

The post State of the future: Why ANZ is excited about Queensland’s potential appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Zach Bristow has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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