ANZ looks at Hong Kong bank

ANZ is considering a bid for Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank, according to media reports in Hong Kong.

ANZ is considering a bid for Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank, according to media reports in Hong Kong.

Singapore's United Overseas Bank is also considering a bid for the bank, which has a market capitalisation of about $US4.7 billion.

Wing Hang's stock price has soared about 40 per cent since the middle of September when it revealed its controlling shareholders had entered takeover talks.

The bank, which is controlled by the Fung family and BNY Mellon, has 40 branches in Hong Kong, 14 in mainland China and 11 in Macau.

"From time to time we look at opportunities as part of our ... regional strategy," an ANZ spokesman said. "However, we don't comment on market speculation."

Asian expansion is a top priority for ANZ chief executive Mike Smith, who formerly ran HSBC's operations in Hong Kong.

About 20 per cent of ANZ's revenue comes from outside Australia, but Mr Smith has a target of 25 to 30 per cent by 2017.

In 2008 ANZ was said to be interested in buying another family-owned Hong Kong bank, Wing Lung.

However, mainland bank China Merchants Bank Co. bought Wing Lung for $US2.47 billion.