Banking News Westpac Banking Corp (WBC)

Westpac Banking WBCWestpac Banking Corp (WBC) is Australia’s oldest bank, operating a significant banking franchise with balance exposures to retail, corporate and institutional sectors.

Following its merger with St George Bank, WBC is not too far behind Commonwealth Bank in the battle to be the biggest in Australia. WBC is also amongst the 20 largest banks in the world.

The bank is also widely considered among the blue chip stocks in the Australian share market.

On 3 November, WBC reported an 84% surge in FY10 net profit to a $6.35 billion.  Cash profit rose 26% to $5.88 billion, which was slightly ahead of analyst estimates.

The profit result was driven by a massive drop in write-downs and improved economic conditions.  However, net interest margin contracted 11 basis points to 2.22%, due to higher funding costs.

Revenue climbed 2.4% to $16.9 billion, with net interest income rising 4% due to growth in mortgage and business lending.

WBC was cautious about the outlook, stating the global operating environment is improving but that the recovery was uneven.

WBC declared a final dividend of 74 cents, up 23% from last year and topping analyst estimates.

WBC climbed 0.5% on the day of the announcement.