May 8 Australia's No.2 lender Westpac Banking
Corp said first-half cash profit rose 3 percent
benefiting from improved credit quality and robust performance
in markets business.
Cash earnings climbed to A$4.017 billion ($2.98 billion) for
the six months ended March 31 compared with A$3.904 billion a
That was in line with a A$4.02 billion estimate of four
analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Australia's oldest bank declared an interim fully franked
dividend of A$0.94 per share, unchanged from A$0.94 a year ago.
The outlook for Australian banks, which are highly reliant
on mortgage loans, has dimmed after the country's prudential
regulator announced on March 31 new limits on some types of
lending in an attempt to cool the red-hot housing market.
($1 = 1.3492 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra