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Tuesday 20

November, 201811:12 AM



Loans, WestConnex lift Macquarie profit

Loans, WestConnex lift Macquarie profit

Macquarie Group has lifted first-half profit 5.0 per cent to $1.31 billion in Nicolas Moore's final set of results before retiring as chief executive.

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By AAP 02.11.2018 12:02 PM

Macquarie Group has lifted first-half profit 5.0 per cent to $1.31 billion, helped by increased mortgage lending and its involvement in the NSW government's part privatisation of WestConnex.

The financial services group, which has largely dodged the banking scandals uncovered at its consumer-focused rivals, says net operating income rose 8.0 per cent to $5.83 billion.

The banking and financial services unit that includes mortgage lending lifted its profit contribution three per cent to $286 million, with growth in deposits and lending more than making up for the impact of the federal government's bank levy.

Macquarie's Australian mortgage portfolio increased 10 per cent over the six months to September 30 to $36.1 billion, representing approximately two per cent of the domestic home loan market.

But the banking and financial services unit contributed just 22.5 per cent of the overall profit.

The two units most responsible for the overall profit increase were commodities and global markets, and Macquarie Capital.

"During the half-year we continued to build on the strength of our Australian franchise, while international income accounted for 67 per cent of the group's total income," chief executive Nicolas Moore said of his final set of results before he retires in December.

Commodities and global markets' profit jumped 85 per cent to $700 million thanks to client activity, improved trading opportunities, increased fee and commission income in Asia, and an increased contribution from equity capital markets fee income in Asia-Pacific.

Macquarie Capital's profit more than doubled from $190 million to $406 million, helped by higher mergers and acquisitions fee income including on the NSW government's sale of a 51 per cent stake in the WestConnex toll road.

Macquarie, which advised on 228 transactions worth a total $267 billion, was joint financial adviser to the consortium that paid $9.3 billion for the WestConnex stake.

It was also joint lead manager, bookrunner and underwriter to the $4.2 billion entitlement offer by consortium member Transurban, which helped fund the deal.

It was the largest merger and acquisition fund raising by an ASX-listed company in the last decade.

Macquarie shares were $4.36, or 3.7 per cent, higher at $122.23 at 1156 AEDT on Friday.

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