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ANZ Posts Weakest Profit Growth in 2 ½ Years

May 3 (Bloomberg) — Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, the worst performer among Australia’s four largest banking stocks this year, posted the smallest half-yearly profit increase in 2 ½ years as lending profitability slipped.

 Net income in the six months to March 31 gained 3 percent to A$2.66 billion ($2.91 billion) from the previous six months, the Melbourne-based bank said today, as provisions for bad debt dropped. Profit missed the A$2.77 billion median estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Smith, 54, aims to double profit from Asia to 30 percent in the next seven years as he expands in the region. The bank shares declined the most in more than ten weeks after net interest margin, a measure of the profitability of its lending business, shrank to 2.47 percent.

 

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