October 15, 2014 / 1:45 PM / 6 years ago

Shares of Great Western Bancorp fall in debut

Oct 15 (Reuters) - Shares of U.S. regional lender Great Western Bancorp Inc fell about 3 percent in their market debut on Wednesday, valuing the unit of National Australia Bank Ltd at about $1 billion.

The stock opened at $18 and touched a low of $17.53 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opened lower.

The shares offered in the initial public offering were priced at $18 apiece, well below the expected range of $21 to $24.

NAB, Australia’s No. 4 lender by market value, sold all 16 million shares in the offering, raising about $288 million and reducing its stake to 72.4 percent.

Great Western, which mainly focuses on farm and business lending, is now the flagship of NAB’s U.S. banking operations with about 162 branches in seven U.S. states and assets in excess of $8 billion.

Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith were among the underwriters of the offering. (Reporting By Neha Dimri in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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