Stock of the Week – NAB

National Australia Bank (NAB) is one of Australia’s big four banks, with a focus on regional banking, wealth management operations, international capital markets and institutional banking.

Slower loans growth and rising bad debts have given our banks headaches of late, as part of a hangover from the global economic downturn.

Whether the world has emerged from global economic toughness or not is still a point of contention, though indications tend to be in favour of a cautious recovery.

National Australia Bank Group has made some small acquisitions over the year, indicating that it has enough cash to splash out and expand its business into regions it feels are capable of fantastic growth prospects.

Some of these strategic acquisitions include Aviva PLC’s Aussie business for $825 million in cash, to bolster its wealth management business.

National Australia Bank shares have had an impressive run of late, with the stock breaking out above the $23.62 area in late July.

From its March lows of around $15.85, NAB shares are currently up nearly 80%.

NAB has warned that any further loan delinquencies could peak around March 2010, depending on how the key Christmas trading period pans out, though the FY results demonstrate that NAB’s UK business is turning around, and that the group’s Aussie banking business is driving positive revenues.