KSL 0.61% 82.0¢ kina securities limited

News: KSL UPDATE 1-Westpac drops plans to sell Pacific businesses, may write back losses

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    Sept 22 (Reuters) - Westpac (WBC) said on Wednesday it was scrapping the sale of its Pacific businesses to Kina Securities (KSL) after the deal was blocked by Papua New Guinea's competition regulator, a move that could lead the company to write back losses.

    The decision was mutual, the companies said, as PNG's Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) had denied authorisation last week on concerns that the deal would lessen competition in the country.

    Westpac, Australia's second largest lender, had announced its intention to sell the businesses in Fiji and Papua New Guinea for up to A$420 million ($303.79 million) in December 2020 in an effort to focus on core banking operations in Australia and New Zealand.

    The company said it would take the business off the market for at least fiscal 2021 and may need to write back a loss of A$121 million it had recognised with its first-half results.

    Further details will be given before the announcement of its Nov. 1 results, it added. Westpac had anticipated a total loss of A$230 million from the deal.

    "Westpac will continue to operate these businesses and support its Pacific customers while assessing alternate exit options," the lender said in a statement.

    Kina said with expected revenue from the acquisition not occurring, its 2021 results will now be in line with 2020.

    ($1 = 1.3826 Australian dollars)

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