NAB eyes U.S. loan market tie-up with Wells Fargo: sources

SYDNEY, June 6 Thu Jun 6, 2013 3:16am EDT

A Wells Fargo bank is seen in Del Mar, California January 17, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake

A Wells Fargo bank is seen in Del Mar, California January 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

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SYDNEY, June 6 (Reuters Basis Point) - National Australia Bank (NAB.AX), Australia's largest business bank, is looking to tie up with Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) to bring Australian borrowers to the U.S. term loan B and high-yield bond markets, banking sources familiar with the initiative said on Thursday.

An alliance with Wells Fargo would make NAB the first Australian major bank to set up a business to compete directly with the investment banks such as JP Morgan (JPM.N) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) who dominate the lucrative term loan B market.

The U.S. term loan B market is a sub-investment grade or "junk" bond market, offering riskier borrowers long-term funding at attractive pricing compared to the Australian bank loan market.

The sources could not be named as they were not authorized to speak on the matter. A NAB spokeswoman declined to comment while Wells Fargo was not immediately available for comment.

A number of Australian companies including Fortescue Metals Group and private-equity owned Hoyts Cinemas have successfully tapped the TLB market in the last 12 months, with year-to-date issuance topping $3.74 billion according to Loan Pricing Corp data.

(Reporting by Sharon Klyne; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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