Westpac Banking Corp is reducing its footprint in the Pacific, announcing the sale for $125 million of its operations in Samoa, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Tonga just days before Brian Hartzer takes over as chief executive. Westpac said the deal would not have a material impact on its financial results and it would retain, and continue to invest in, operations in Fiji and Papua New Guinea, which have closer ties with Asia and its home markets in Australia and New Zealand. The other Pacific operations will be offloaded to the Bank of South Pacific Ltd, subject to regulatory and other approvals, by mid-year. Westpac said it would work with BSP, which is headquartered in PNG and has existing operations in Fiji and the Solomons, to ensure a smooth transition to the new owner for customers. Read more.