Bancorp lists wealth unit in Frankfurt, sees capital raising in coming year

Craig Brownie, Managing Director, Bancorp New Zealand

Financial services firm Bancorp Group has listed its wealth management and private banking unit on Germany's Frankfurt Stock Exchange and expects to raise capital in the coming year to help fund future acquisitions.

The Auckland-based firm listed subsidiary Bancorp Wealth Management New Zealand on the German bourse in April to improve liquidity for existing shareholders, give better access to raising funds, and lifting its profile near the major financial service hub of Switzerland, managing director Craig Brownie told BusinessDesk. He expects consolidation in aviation insurance broking in the coming year, which will provide acquisition opportunities for the unit.

"It's a good time for New Zealand companies to be buying offshore entities if they like, with the historically high New Zealand dollar," Brownie said. "We chose to get set up in Europe now and will raise capital probably in the next 12 months - we'll do it relative to a specific target."

Bancorp Wealth Management listed on the Frankfort exchange last month at 4.20 euros, and last traded at 3.855 euros. When listing, it cited its equity investment in aircraft insurance broker Boston Marks Holdings as a key driver for growth.

Brownie said the unit's private banking service, which is used by overseas high net worth individuals, wasn't as cash hungry as the insurance broking business.

The Frankfurt listing adds "credibility" to the private banking business, as European investors understand those kinds of services which include offering New Zealand products via an existing relationship with a Swiss bank, he said.

Bancorp chose the Frankfurt listing over Hong Kong or Singapore due to growth opportunities outside China, and the German bourse trumped London's AIM exchange for cost and a better economy that was fuelling investor interest in equities.

(BusinessDesk)

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