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National Australia in talks to acquire Wizard

Wednesday 17th December 2008

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National Australia Bank is in talks to acquire the brand and Australian distribution network of non-bank finance company Wizard.

Australia's biggest lender is also in the final stages of negotiating to acquire up to A$4 billion of Wizard originated prime mortgages. The mortgage portfolio comprises prime mortgages with a maximum loan-to-valuation ratio of 90% and is 100% mortgage insured, it said in a statement.

The bank said the purchase price isn't material and won't impact materially on NAB's Tier 1 capital ratio. Funding requirements associated with the mortgage portfolio can be accommodated within NAB's existing funding plans for the 2009 financial year, it said.

The negotiations are well advanced, though a final decision on the deal hasn't been made yet, NAB said. Shares of the bank rose 1.3% to A$19.45 in early trading on the ASX. It has declined 51% in the past 12 months.

By Jonathan Underhill



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