Monday, January 26, 2009

Global financial crisis lifts Australia's four largest and relatively healthy banks into the top 20

Australia's big banks have joined the ranks of the world's largest banks. Australian banks have seen their share prices plummet around 50%, but no less remain in relatively healthy positions when compared with their counterparts in the United States and United Kingdom.

Total stock market capitalization of Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and AZN (Australia and New Zealand Banking Group) is now greater than Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Barclays and Deutshe Bank.

Phil Chronican, head of institutional banking at Westpac said “the maintenance of the bank's market capitalization and value compared with its international peers had increased its reputation and knowledge among major institutional investors.

The banks seem in good position for foreign expansion and acquisitions. ANZ has already been widely successful in Asian markets. Westpac now ranks at the 9th largest bank in the world, and is seeing its foreign exchange deals increase substantially.

"The Australian banking sector is now roughly a quarter the size in market capitalization of the US listed banking sector and much larger than the UK, which raises the question why not expand and become seriously global," Mr Davison said. "However, we believe the most likely scenario is domestic banks will simply be in suspense from the ever changing effects from the nationalization of banks in these foreign markets and survival as a private entity will be deemed being successful."

Click here to read a more comprehensive report of this story at the Australian


Toronto Real Estate said...

Well at least someone is doing good in these tough times. Nice article! I'll be watching stories about these Australian banks since I'm really curious if the success will last.

Take care, Julie