ANZ names Au Yeung as HK CEO

ANZ names Ivy Au Yeung as chief executive of its Hong Kong operations, replacing Susan Yuen, who left in June to return to Malaysia.

ANZ said on Friday it had named Ivy Au Yeung as chief executive of its Hong Kong operations, replacing Susan Yuen who left ANZ in June to return to Malaysia.

Au Yeung will report to Farhan Faruqui, ANZ’s CEO of international banking.

“It’s pleasing to be able to appoint someone of Ivy’s calibre as our new CEO in Hong Kong on my first day at ANZ,” said Faruqui.

Faruqui left Citi in May to join ANZ after 23 years at the US bank. August 1 marked the end of his gardening leave.

Au Yeung has been acting CEO Hong Kong since June and will continue to be responsible for growing ANZ’s retail, commercial and institutional business in Hong Kong.

Mike Smith, ANZ's group CEO, has diversified the revenues of Australia’s third-largest bank by market value into faster-growing markets over recent years. This so-called super-regional strategy has been controversial, with some investors saying the cost of expansion is diluting ANZ's ROE, while others have applauded the move outside Australia's mature market.

Smith's group ROE target of 16% by 2016 has come under additional pressure as regulators make greater capital demands on the bank.

ANZ executives said banks have a mix of businesses with different growth and return profiles. They said the bank was shifting away from establising a footprint and relationships, after about  six years of building a platform, to leveraging the network.

They stressed ANZ was leveraging the strengths of its Australian franchise such as agriculture and focusing on key corridors of business such as iron ore shipments from Australia to China.

As part of this super-regional push, ANZ completed its first live bank payment obligation (BPO) transaction in Hong Kong in July.

The buyer, China’s state-owned cereal processor and trader, Cofco International, while the seller was China-Agri Industries Holdings, also part of the Cofco Group.

The payment was completed on July 14. The BPO was to support Cofco International’s sourcing of rice from Southeast Asia.

A BPO works between a seller and its bank, and a buyer and its bank. Unlike a letter of credit (LC), a BPO doesn’t rely on the collection of non-standardised, physical documentation that has to be eyeball confirmed by the parties involved. In contrast, BPOs are automated and digitised.

Prior to her current appointment, Au Yeung led ANZ’s commercial business in Asia and the Pacific, having joined ANZ in 2011 following a 20-year international banking career with Standard Chartered.

Her appointment is effective immediately having already received the necessary regulatory approvals.

ANZ has had a presence in Hong Kong since 1970 and currently has three branches and a private bank office.

With 1,100 employees servicing international, global banking, retail, wealth and private bank customers, ANZ Hong Kong is also one of two regional headquarters for ANZ in Asia.

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