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NAB quits bidding for ABN Amro units

Wednesday 23rd July 2008

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National Australia Bank (NAB), Australia's biggest lender, ended talks to acquire the Australian and New Zealand investment banking units of ABN Amro from Royal Bank of Scotland.

The bank gave no explanation for its withdrawal in its statement. The decision leaves Commonwealth Bank of Australia as the leading Australasian contender, the Sydney Morning Herald reported today.

The units could fetch A$500 million to A$1.3 billion, the Herald said, citing market observers. ABN Amro Australia Holdings made a profit of A$131 million last year, up 96% from the previous year.

Among the businesses for sale would be a half stake in ABN AMRO Craigs, which is owned 50-50 by senior employees of the firm and ABN Amro Holdings. Bank of Scotland acquired ABN Amro assets last year for about 14 billion euros.

By Jonathan Underhill

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