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ASB's parent, CBA, bidding A$3 bln for BankWest, AFR says

ASB's parent, CBA, bidding A$3 bln for BankWest, AFR says
CBA CEO Ralph NorrisCommonwealth Bank of Australia, the parent of ASB run by former ASB and Air NZ CEO Ralph Norris, has offered to buy BankWest from HalifaxBank of Scotland (HBOS) for a cut-price A$3 billion, the Australian Financial Review has reported. But the newspaper said CBA would not want HBOS's corporate and property financing arm BOS International, which has lent NZ$1.5 billion to NZ$3 billion to property developers and property finance companies in New Zealand. BOS International has backed Strategic Finance, Dominion Finance and Geneva Finance, which are in moratorium or receivership. It is thought to have lent to projects including Soho Square in Ponsonby, Denarau Resort in Fiji, the Sentinel Tower on the North Shore and Pegasus Town in Christchurch.  HBOS is being taken over by Lloyds TSB after the Credit Crunch raised concerns about HBOS' survival chances. ANZ is also thought to have offered to buy BankWest, which has 100 branches and 16% of the market in the booming state of Western Australia, but Lloyds TSB is thought to be reluctant to sell for A$3 billion, the AFR said. It noted that whoever bought BankWest would have to raise cash through a share sale to do it. Here's the full story at AFR.com Commonwealth Bank subsequently said it did not have an offer with BankWest "at this time."    

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