WEALTH MANAGEMENT | Tony Chua, Australia

National Australia Bank positive on Axa acquisition

NAB believes regulator will favor its US$12mln bid for Axa takeover over rival's US$11mln offer.

The chief executive of National Australia Bank's MLC is confident the bank's plan to expand its wealth-management arm via a A$13.2 billion ($12.07 million) bid for Axa Asia Pacific will succeed, despite the competition watchdog's Friday decision to delay its ruling on the deal.

"I think the ACCC is going through a very robust process, scoping views and opinions from far and wide," Steve Tucker said.

"But we don't believe there are any issues on fundamental competition grounds."

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was previously expected to announce its decision on NAB and AMP's competing bids for Axa APH on March 17, but it announced on Friday that it would reveal its ruling on AMP's A$12 billion (US$10.97 billion) bid on April 1 and NAB's on April 22.

AMP has told the ACCC the NAB deal would inhibit competition in the financial services industry and has gone quiet on whether it would, or would be allowed to, make an improved offer.

In its preliminary view of the bids, the ACCC focused heavily on the issue of competition in investment platforms, which it described as the key structure for investments and a central "hub" account for a range of services.

View the full story in The Australian.

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