Investors raise ANZ shares after payout

ANZ Bank’s interim dividend of 25 cents per share has won over the share market, even though management set aside another $500 million for the costs of the pandemic.

The bank’s interim dividend was well down on its 80 cents per share payout for the same period last year, but was a relief to shareholders after the decision was postponed due to COVID-19.

Rival Westpac on Tuesday said it would not pay an interim dividend, while the Commonwealth and NAB reduced their payouts.

Investors had raised ANZ shares by 3.49 per cent to $18.70 at 1426 AEST.

The bank had third quarter cash earnings of $1.59 billion. It did not provide earnings results for the same period last year.

Management were wary on the ongoing virus crisis, and the $500 million provision charge in the June quarter adds to the $1,674 million taken in the first half.

Loan deferrals were the main area of concern.

Chief executive Shayne Elliot said the bank was better placed than it had been for the Global Financial Crisis, as data analytics technology allowed staff to identify trends quickly and respond.

However he believed there could be more obstacles to come.

“You only need to look at the reintroduction of community lockdowns in Victoria and Auckland to realise we all still have a way to go before this virus is behind us,” he said.

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