Macquarie profit rises

SYDNEY: Australia's only listed investment bank, Macquarie Bank Ltd, has lifted its half-year profit by almost one-third, buoyed by fees from its specialist funds and advisory fees from a surge in mergers and acquisitions (M&As). 

The bank also tipped yesterday significantly higher earnings for the rest of the year as a pick-up in equity markets and corporate activity continued to bolster profits. 

For the six months ended Sept 30, Macquarie's net profit came in at A$242mil after the payment of distributions, up from A$183mil a year ago. The bank said its result was boosted by fees from its global portfolio of property and infrastructure funds and the sale of its interest in East African Gold Mines. 

Macquarie has benefited from its strategy of investing in infrastructure, toll road and property funds around the world in recent years, which helped protect it from a global downturn in investment banking. 

“In the current year we expect to continue to benefit from these positive conditions and anticipate the second half will be significantly up on the prior corresponding period, but as usual, below the first half due to the timing of performance fees,” chief executive Allan Moss said in a statement. 

Earnings were also buoyed by a sharp rise in M&As involving Australian companies in the period, as a robust economy and a rash of initial public offerings boosted activity. 

Macquarie advised on A$6.99bil of completed deals involving Australian firms in the first nine months of calendar 2003, according to data from Thomson Financial. – Reuters 


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