Major institutional shareholders of regional insurer AXA Asia Pacific Holdings (APH) are intensifying pressure on the company’s board to approve the $12.8 billion joint takeover bid from French insurance giant AXA SA, and Australian wealth manager AMP as APH board members will meet Wednesday to consider a revised deal.
On Monday, Australian banking major Westpac moved to re-open the once frozen market for residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS), launching a $1 billion offering.
Although there have been a number of smaller offerings issued by regional lenders without the use of the government guarantee recently. The Westpac deal is the first issue of RMBS by a major lender since May 2007, when the market effectively closed as a result of the global financial crisis.
Amid an environment of the gradual phasing out of first time home buyer grant and rising interest rates, an industry forecaster says it believes that mortgage lending could decline in 2010.
Australian wealth manager, AMP and its partner French insurance giant AXA SA have sweetened their joint acquisition bid for AXA Asia Pacific Holdings to $12.85 billion from an original bid of $11.7 billion.
Australian banking major has moved to distance itself from a comment passed by a senior executive with the lender, suggesting that ANZ is not interested in acquiring AMP. Markets are speculating that ANZ intends to launch its own takeover bid for Australian wealth manager AMP.
David Liddy, chief executive of regional lender Bank of Queensland (BoQ) has called for the Australian competition regulator to become more involved in ensuring greater competitiveness in the Australian banking sector, as the industry becomes increasingly consolidated between the major players.
Mortgage borrowers seeking to switch their lender to National Australia Bank from Westpac would be hit with a $1750 fee that could take as long as three years to recoup from savings generated by switching to a mortgage with a lower interest rate.
NAB, who last week matched the increase in official interest rate increase with one of its own, the only major lender to do so, says it will review its interest rate policy before the central bank meets next February, and refuses to rule out further interest rate increase that match the higher rate increases of its rivals.
Australian banking major Westpac is facing intense pressure from politicians as a result of its decision to increase its standard variable mortgage rate by nearly double the rate increase enacted by the Australian central bank.
Bancassurance group Suncorp-Metway, and regional lender Bendigo and Adelaide Bank are set to combine their ATM networks, giving customers of both banks a wider choice of machines.