By Lucy Craymer
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s government said on Monday it had transferred Kiwibank’s assets to a new state-owned company, since the lender no longer fit within the long-term plans for two state entities that currently own it.
Kiwibank, which is New Zealand fifth-largest retail bank, was owned by state-owned entities New Zealand Post, Accident Compensation Corporation and sovereign wealth fund New Zealand Superannuation Fund.
The government said in a statement that the transaction valued at NZ$2.1 billion will be done through a transfer of assets from the entities to a newly incorporated company that will also be owned by the state.
It said the government will fund the purchase through a multi-year capital allowance. The purchase was already part of the borrowing programme published in 2022.
“The Government is fully committed to supporting Kiwibank to be a genuine competitor in the banking industry – ensuring the bank has access to capital to continue to grow on a commercially sustainable basis and offer a viable and competitive alternative for New Zealanders,” said New Zealand Finance Minister Grant Robertson.
($1 = 1.6194 New Zealand dollars)
(Reporting by Lucy Craymer, editing by Deepa Babington)