ABN Amro set to pay pounds 65m for BZW Australasia

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ABN Amro, the Dutch bank, will next week announce the purchase of BZW Australasia, an investment banking business owned by Barclays Bank, according to banking sources. ABN is expected to pay around A$160m (pounds 65m).

Barclays first put BZW Australasia up for sale in October, with other parts of BZW, its investment banking arm. Barclays initially intended to sell the businesses as a package, but no suitable buyer emerged. Parts of the UK investment banking operations were sold to Credit Suisse First Boston in November, leaving Barclays to dispose of its Asian and Australasian investment banking businesses separately. Neither Barclays nor ABN Amro would confirm rumours that they would soon make an announcement, though ABN Amro admitted it was talking to Barclays. A Barclays spokesperson said BZW Australasia sale talks were "progressing"