WEALTH MANAGEMENT | Tony Chua, Australia

NAB acquires Calibre Asset Management

Move aims to realize the bank's goal of capitalising wealth boom of high-end customers in Asia-Pacific.

National Australia Bank Ltd., Australia's third-biggest lender, said it bought Hong Kong-based Calibre Asset Management to bolster investment advisory and private and corporate banking operations in Asia.

According to a report in Bloomberg NAB didn't provide financial details. The acquisition is its first in Hong Kong since selling its life insurance businesses in the city and in
Indonesia to Axa Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. in February 2006. Calibre Asset is a closely held investment advisory firm.

Wealth among millionaires in Asia Pacific will grow faster than the global average as the region's economies outperform, according to a survey published last month by Cap Gemini SA and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

NAB will focus on expanding in wealth management, corporate banking and lending to small to medium-sized businesses in Asia, said Andrew Macintosh, Hong Kong-based general manager of banking.

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