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Deals

PNG regulator rejects stake sale of Westpac's Pacific businesses

FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian looks at his phone as he walks past a logo for Australia's Westpac Banking Corp located outside a branch in central Sydney, Australia, November 5, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

(Reuters) -Papua New Guinea’s competition regulator has rejected Kina Securities’ A$420 million ($308.45 million) proposed stake acquisition in Westpac Banking Corp’s Pacific operations, Australia’s No. 2 lender said on Monday.

PNG’s Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) raised concerns that the deal would not result in “benefits that outweigh detriments to public” and would lessen competition in the country’s market, Kina said in a separate statement.

Westpac said both parties were reviewing the regulator’s draft and would make further submissions to ICCC before it takes a final decision on the deal in September.

Westpac announced the deal in December among a series of divestitures in an attempt to streamline its operations by focussing more at home.

($1 = 1.3617 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru

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