Westpac has announced that it will sell its banking operations in Samoa, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga, but will retain its operations in Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
The Bank of South Pacific Limited (BSP) will acquire the operations for A$125 million, with the sale expected to be completed in mid-2015 pending necessary approvals.
“Our decision to sell our operations in these nations reflects our desire to increase focus on our growth plans in the larger markets of PNG and Fiji,” said Westpac Institutional Bank chief executive Rob Whitfield.
“We continue to see significant opportunities in both Fiji and PNG markets and will continue to invest in expanding our infrastructure and capability in the region.
“These markets support our international aspirations by being closely tied to Asia, Australia and New Zealand and the strong flows of capital, trade and migration,” he said.
BSP is the largest Pacific-originated bank with current operations in PNG, Fiji and Solomon Islands.
Greg Pawson, general manager of Westpac Pacific noted the importance of ensuring that the Pacific region is supported by a bank that is an “expert in operating in smaller markets.”
“It was clear that BSP was best placed to maintain a high standard of banking services across these markets and in so doing, continue to support the economies in the region,” he said.
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