Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.ASX) plans to invest US$300 million in its China unit and more than triple its bank branch network in China in the next five to 10 years, Bloomberg reported, quoting a company announcement at a press conference in Beijing yesterday. ANZ, Australia’s third-largest lender, will increase its branches in the mainland to 20 from six today, and plans to expand as fast as regulators will allow, said bank CEO Mike Smith. The bank aims to earn up to 30% of its profit from Asia-Pacific outside of Australia and New Zealand by 2015, and China is a “significant” part of that plan, said Charles Li, CEO of ANZ China. Foreign banks together generated profits of RMB16.7 billion (US$2.64 billion) last year in China, where demand for financial services is rising rapidly.
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