WITH its commitment to fulfilling customers' financial needs, National Australia Bank Asia offers simple and flexible overseas property finance loans to purchase or refinance overseas properties in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Ireland. The overseas property finance loans are available to Hong Kong residents. Loans to non-residents may be considered on a case-by-case basis. The minimum amount for an overseas property finance loan is A$100,000 (about HK$556,000). The maximum amount is determined by the customer's ability to service the loan, the security provided and other credit criteria. Grace Mak, head of overseas property finance of National Australia Bank Asia's Hong Kong branch, said that 'with the increasing number of Hong Kong people investing in Australian, New Zealand, British and Irish property markets, we offer a favourable and highly competitive package.' Customers have the ability to choose a loan from a range of currencies, which can be either in the currency of the country in which the property is located in Hong Kong dollars or US dollars. Loans can be structured on a reduced balance basis with principal plus interest (up to a maximum of 25 years) or interest-only payments for an agreed period. Loans with interest-only payments for the first one to five years are available, with a maximum loan terms of up to 25 years. Fixed-interest rates for one to five years may also be available in certain currencies. Ms Mak said: 'The interest rates are always very competitive and can vary according to the customers' choice of type of loan, the currency and the term.' The bank also protects customers from managing the risk in fluctuating exchange rates by signing forward foreign exchange contracts with approved clients. 'Borrowers with a debt-security ratio not exceeding 70 per cent are permitted one free currency switch,' she said. 'Clients can convert the outstanding loan balance into a new currency at any roll-over date.' National Australia Bank is Australia's largest banking group and one of the largest and most successful banking groups in the world. It conducts business through more than 2,500 branches and other business outlets and employs more than 49,000 people. The bank started operations in Asia in 1969 and now uses the trading name of National Australia Bank Asia in the region. The bank has branch offices in Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo. It also has representative offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi. National Australia Bank Asia provides a range of banking, investment and insurance products, including multi-currency deposit accounts (call and time); unit trusts; overseas property finance; forward foreign exchange contracts; personal insurance; and private line banking services.