May 4, 2015, 10:34 AM
- H1 profit of A$3.778B was flat from a year ago, but shy of expectations for A$3.85B.
- It's the first earnings report since Brian Hartzer replaced Gail Kelly as CEO in February. Westpac (WBK -3.2%) also boosted its dividend by a penny, half of the usual minimum hike.
- Goldman downgrades to Neutral from Buy.
Sep. 17, 2014, 11:03 AM
Apr. 29, 2014, 10:00 AM
- BAML falls further out of love with Australia's Westpac Banking (WBK -0.8%), cutting to Underperform from Neutral. It was less than two months ago when the team downgraded the name to Neutral from Outperform.
- Yesterday, Citigroup pulled its Buy rating on the stock.
- There's been no specific news of late, and the moves could be valuation calls after about a 20% run for the shares over the last three months.
Mar. 31, 2014, 12:27 PM
- Absent reforms, another financial crisis is likely to leave taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of billions, warns the IMF, estimating the world's biggest banks receive up to $590B in implicit public subsidies because of their TBTF status.
- Said subsidies include bankers who still have a "heads I win, tails you lose" attitude, and investors who lend at lower cost to banks than they might otherwise. The IMF calculated the size of the subsidies by comparing the CDS prices and credit ratings across larger and smaller banks. While the amount has fallen since the crisis, it still remains sizable. "All in all ... the expected probability that systemically important banks will be bailed out remains high in all regions."
- Subsidies for the biggest players are "like insurance for which banks don't need to pay a premium," says senior IMF analyst Gaston Gelos.
- Full report (starting on pg. 34)
- Among the usual suspects: BBVA, BBD, BAC, BCS, BK, BNS, C, CS, DB, GS, HSBC, IBN, ING, JPM, LYG, MS, NBG, RY, STT, TD, UBS, WFC, WBK.
Oct. 11, 2013, 1:54 AM
- Lloyds (LYG) has agreed to sell its Australian business to Westpac Banking (WBK) for A$1.45B ($1.37B) in a deal that is part of the U.K. bank's strategy of selling assets as it refocuses on its core markets.
- The operations include motor vehicle, equipment and corporate financing, and have a face value of A$8.4B.
- The deal doesn't need regulatory authorization and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. (PR)
Aug. 19, 2013, 12:45 PM| Aug. 19, 2013, 12:45 PM | 2 Comments
Aug. 13, 2013, 3:49 AM
- Lloyds (LYG) has reportedly received offers for its asset-finance and commercial-lending units that value the businesses at over A$1B ($912M).
- Suitors that made preliminary bids include National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking (WBK), ANZ Banking, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBAUY.OB) and Macquarie Group (MCQEF.PK). Lloyds will probably cut the shortlist to three by the end of the month.
- The sale will continue Lloyds' strategy of streamlining its operations and help it plug a capital shortfall identified by U.K. regulators.
May 20, 2013, 9:47 AM
UBS' 5 "suspected" asset bubbles: 1) Risk-free rates - specifically Treasurys (TLT), Bunds (BUND, BUNL), JGBs (JGBL, JGBT, JGBD, JGBS) 2) Credit (HYG, JNK) 3) Real estate in Asia (WPS) 4) Certain EM equity markets (EIDO, IDXJ, EPHE, THD, EWW) 5) Australian banks (WBK, NABZY.PK, ANZBY.PK, CMWAY.PK).| May 20, 2013, 9:47 AM
Apr. 8, 2013, 3:23 AMThe Australian dollar will this week become the third currency to trade directly with the yuan as China continues the internationalization of its currency. The country's central bank has granted ANZ (ANZBY.PK) and Westpac (WBK) the rights to trade in the dollar and renminbi. With China being Australia's largest trading partner and buying over 25% of its exports, the move should help cut trading costs. | Apr. 8, 2013, 3:23 AM
May 3, 2012, 7:28 AM"The biggest bubble in recent history is heading for the mother of all hard landings," writes SocGen's Albert Edwards, tagging onto his bearish partner-in-crime Dylan Grice's analysis of Australia. Channeling Minsky, Edwards notes the lack of volatility in Oz's economy (no recession since 1991) leads to an excessive build-up in debt and a "bigger crash down the road." | May 3, 2012, 7:28 AM | 1 Comment
May 1, 2012, 10:59 AM
Among Australia's troubles are banks that can't pass on RBA rate cuts (50 bp last night) because - reliant on overseas markets - the lenders' funding costs are on the rise. "Infatuation" with Oz's debt (foreign ownership gov't bonds is skying) may be propping up the aussie, writes Anthony Doyle, but not for much longer. FXA -0.7%.| May 1, 2012, 10:59 AM
May 1, 2012, 6:50 AM
Apr. 25, 2012, 4:43 PMAnswer: Australia. Question (courtesy of Dylan Grice): "What do you call a credit bubble built on a commodity bull market built on a much bigger Chinese credit bubble?" The country has 5 of the world's most 15 expensive cities, runs a current account deficit despite booming commodity sales to China, and has seen a steep rise in debt/income. Shares: EWA +10.9% YTD, the aussie: FXA +1.1% YTD. | Apr. 25, 2012, 4:43 PM | 2 Comments
Apr. 24, 2012, 7:01 AMThe stage is set for the RBA to cut rates after Australia's CPI rises just 0.1% in Q1 against expectations for 0.6%. Annual inflation comes in at 1.6% vs. 2.1% expected. The central bank has made clear only this CPI report stood between the current 4.25% benchmark and something lower. It meets on May 1. Aussie -0.4% to $1.0280. | Apr. 24, 2012, 7:01 AM
Apr. 18, 2012, 3:01 PM
Might Genworth's (GNW -21%) delay of its Australian mortgage insurance business IPO be ringing a bell for the Oz property market? The company cites deteriorating market conditions in the Aussie mortgage market "as lenders accelerated the processing of late-stage delinquencies ... at a higher rate and severity than expected." Westpac WBK -1%.| Apr. 18, 2012, 3:01 PM | 1 Comment
Mar. 27, 2012, 3:41 PM
"When we've gone through our book, we've seen signs of rapid property value decretion," says Stuart Grimshaw, MD at Bank of Queensland of the lender's expected H1 loss due to loan impairments. He expects continued challenges in coming years, much of it due to the powerful Aussie dollar. FXA remains near all-time highs.| Mar. 27, 2012, 3:41 PM | 2 Comments