Monday, May 12, 2008

WBC vs The Rest of Them

Finally one of the big four banks has lobbed a bid on to St George Bank's doorstep. This has been on the cards for a few years now since the takeover restrictions were removed. And who better to know the value of the company than the CEO who spent her whole tenure at SGB trying to proof the company from such a takeover in Gail Kelly. Just months on to her new gig as the head of Westpac and she has turned and devoured the dragon!

What does all this mean. Well all the banks have been busy building stakes in SGB over the years to protect one of the other big banks from taking it without giving them a say. So what will they say? Will they let Westpac walk through and have it? I would assume not but anything can be bought at the right price.

The real kicker for me will be how the rookie treasurer Wayne Swan reacts to it all. At some point he will have to make a decision in regards to the national interest and that will be the cause for some giggles. Having seen the way the banks have walked all over him in his first six months in power, I wonder if he will feel the need to react in kind.

This will all be far more interesting than that mega-merger going on between RIO and BHP, but should take just about as long as the games in both the business world and political world carry far more weight and therfore far more interesting tactics.