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RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Australia
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National Australia junks bid for Axa Asia

Regulator's blocking of NAB-AXA deal paved way for AMP offer as insurer remains strategically attractive.

National Australia Bank Ltd. scrapped a A$13.3 billion ($12.4 billion) bid for Axa Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. after the regulator blocked the deal, paving the way for rival AMP Ltd. to revive its offer.

“Continuing with this agreement is not in the best interests of shareholders,” National Australia Bank Chief Executive Officer Cameron Clyne said in a statement on Tuesday. The competition watchdog blocked the takeover on Sept. 9.

Clyne’s decision not to challenge the verdict, or even seek a compromise, puts AMP in a position to win the 10-month battle. AMP, whose A$12.9 billion (US$12.13 billion) offer in December was spurned by Axa Asia Pacific, said it’s “considering its position” after National Australia Bank stepped aside.

“As long as AMP remains financially disciplined in any revised offer, this deal will be accretive beyond the first year,” Arjan van Veen, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG in Sydney, said before the announcement. “Within wealth management, AMP would almost double its adviser base overnight.”

View the full story in Bloomberg.

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