ANZ Bank Full-Year Cash Profit Rises 18% as Bad Debts Fall

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. full-year earnings rose 18 percent on growth in its domestic banking businesses and lower bad debts, even as margins narrowed, Bloomberg News reported. Unaudited cash profit, which excludes one-time items, rose to A$6.94 billion ($5.3 billion) in the 12 months ended Sept. 30, from A$5.9 billion a year earlier, the Melbourne-based bank said in a statement Thursday. That compares with the A$6.97 billion median estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Chief Executive Officer Shayne Elliott is in the process of reshaping the bank to focus on its more profitable domestic banking operations. Over the past 18 months he has sold a range of overseas businesses, including a stake in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank and retail operations in five Asian markets, a legacy of his predecessor’s ill-fated expansion. The bank is also slimming down domestically, last week selling its wealth advisory unit to IOOF Holdings Ltd., and is looking to spin off or sell its life insurance division. Read more.