(Yicai Global) Sept. 19 -- Shanghai-based Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. [SHA:600019] plans to buy a 10-percent stake in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank Co. from Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. [ASK:ANZ], also known as ANZ Bank.
The Chinese firm's board approved the proposal, which is valued at CNY4.6 billion (USD700 million), on Sept. 18, according to a company statement.
ANZ Bank bought a 19.9-percent share in the Chinese bank in September 2007, and upped its investment to AUD568 million (USD453 million) at a later date. By 2016, the Australian lender had earned AUD1.3 billion in income from its investments in the bank, and received AUD178 million in dividends.
However, at the start of this year, reports suggested ANZ Bank planned to sell its shareholding to China COSCO Shipping Corp. and Shanghai Chipol Corporate Management & Development Ltd. It isn't clear how the buyer changed to become Baoshan Iron & Steel.
By selling equity in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank, ANZ Bank hoped to shift its focus to their competitive business and set up a more concise system with better benefits, a source from the Australian institution told Chinese media outlet Hexun at the start of the year. Non-controlling stakes in Asia's banking industry are not a part of ANZ's core assets.