NAB is aiming to raise at least AU$2bn from selling new shares, with rumours rife that the eventual sale could reach AU$3bn. Should other local banks make similar moves to shore up their balance sheets?
NAB had reported a quadrupling in bad debt charges. And with rival banks also faced with rapidly rising debt, surely it's time for them to bring in some fresh billions to battle the financial storms?
Analysts quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald believe that although Aussie banks have avoided the worst of the sub-prime crisis, the global recession is landing them with bad debts, and they will have to raise more capital.
The NAB offer certainly looks like it's proving popular. The firm is placing its shares with institutions at AU$20 each, after the offer was oversubscribed following strong demand.
Will share sales be the saviour of the Big Four? And would you spend your own money on buying a slice of these banks?