In recent months NAB has helped two of Australia’s elite universities raise $450 million for their building programs, as competition heats up in the higher education sector.
NAB, the market leader in the provision of lending and provider of debt services to the higher education sector, recently arranged two public debt issues to Australian universities – the University of Sydney in April this year, raising $200 million, and the University of Melbourne in late June, raising $250 million.
NAB Executive General Manager for Debt Markets, Steve Lambert, said the bank had well established relationships with Australia’s tertiary institutions.
“The Universities of Sydney and Melbourne are amongst our oldest clients, both with a relationship of over 150 years.We understand the sector and we know what opportunities exist for these institutions,” Mr Lambert said.
“The higher education sector is experiencing a period of substantial change, with increased competition and a desire by universities to ensure their institutions prosper by offering the facilities and experiences expected by students now and into the future.
“Importantly, available funds from traditional sources have decreased at a time that the universities themselves want to invest more.”
Mr Lambert said universities were looking to new and improved buildings and facilities, as well as specialised research facilities used to attract world renowned academics, the best students, research funding and philanthropic contributions.
“The good news is that there is an appetite from both local and international investors for this kind of bond issues,” he said.
“Universities have great name recognition and it’s fair to say that for many of theseinvestors, that they have attended major universities, be that for local or some of our Asian investors.”