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South Africa's Investec to open bank branch in Australia

South African lender Investec will open a branch in Australia in a push to expand its international network, the bank said on Thursday.

By Paulina Duran

SYDNEY, June 27 (Reuters) - South African lender Investec INVP.L will open a branch in Australia in a push to expand its international network, the bank said on Thursday.

After operating in Australia for over two decades, Investec said it had received approval from the country's regulator to carry on business in the country as a foreign bank from July 1.

The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) declined to comment.

"This is the first time (Investec) has been able to offer clients full access to its parent's balance sheet and specialist capabilities," the statement said.

Foreign banks are increasing their presence in Australia once more as they bet on resources and infrastructure investment gathering pace and as regulators push to promote competition in the sector, dominated by its Big Four locals.

Earlier this year, Barclays Plc BARC.L re-opened in Australia just over two years since the UK-based bank surprised staff by closing its operations as part of a region-wide retrenchment.

"The move is transformational as we will now be able to provide clients with greater international reach, (and) a stronger balance sheet, " said Milton Samios, chief executive officer of Investec Australia.

Investec provides advice and capital to companies in the resources, power, infrastructure and property sectors, the bank added in the statement.

(Reporting by Paulina Duran; Editing by Stephen Coates)

((paulina.duran@thomsonreuters.com; +61 2 9321 8177 ; Reuters Messaging: paulina.duran.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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