WBC.AX - Westpac Banking Corporation

ASX - ASX Delayed Price. Currency in AUD
26.63
+0.06 (+0.23%)
At close: 4:10PM AEDT
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Previous Close26.57
Open26.32
Bid26.62 x 0
Ask26.63 x 0
Day's Range26.45 - 26.67
52 Week Range23.30 - 30.05
Volume5,066,109
Avg. Volume6,992,781
Market Cap93.147B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.61
PE Ratio (TTM)14.05
EPS (TTM)1.89
Earnings DateNov 4, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield1.60 (6.02%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-11-12
1y Target Est28.82
  • New Zealand Unexpectedly Holds Interest Rates; Kiwi Jumps
    Bloomberg

    New Zealand Unexpectedly Holds Interest Rates; Kiwi Jumps

    (Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s central bank left interest rates unchanged -- defying widespread expectations of a cut -- saying there are signs the domestic economy will stop slowing and that inflation will pick up. The local currency jumped.“Economic developments since the August Statement do not warrant a change to the already stimulatory monetary setting at this time,” the Reserve Bank said Wednesday after holding the official cash rate at a record-low 1%. “We will add further monetary stimulus if needed.”The RBNZ’s surprise move Wednesday adds to evidence of a global policy shift after the Federal Reserve signaled a pause in late October and Australia’s central bank held steady last week; all three banks have cut rates by 75 basis points this year. New Zealand was first in the mini-easing cycle when it began lowering rates in May, and said today it wants to assess the impact of earlier reductions before adding further stimulus.“We still think the bank remains too optimistic on the prospects for growth,” said Ben Udy, an economist at Capital Economics in Singapore. Udy correctly predicted the RBNZ would hold rates today, and expects the central bank to cut twice more next year to 0.5%.The New Zealand dollar jumped three quarters of a U.S. cent after the announcement. It bought 64 cents at 3:38 p.m. in Wellington, up from 63.35 cents before the statement. Two-year swap rates rose as much as 21 basis points and are currently trading 18 basis points higher at 1.22%. The 10-year bond yield gained as much as 18 basis points and is currently 13 basis points higher at 1.49%.New projections for the overnight cash rate continue to signal some chance of a cut next year, according to the central bank’s policy statement. The projections show the average OCR dropping to 0.90% in the first quarter of 2020.The monetary policy committee’s decision was reached by consensus, according to a record of the meeting also published Wednesday.Cut Debated“The committee debated the costs and benefits of keeping the OCR at 1.0% versus reducing it to 0.75%,” it said. “The committee agreed that both actions were broadly consistent with the current OCR projection. The committee agreed that the reduction in the OCR over the past year was transmitting through the economy and that it would take time to have its full effect.”The RBNZ is betting that the easing it has delivered this year, including a surprise 50-point cut in August, will revive economic growth in 2020, helping inflation return to the midpoint of its 1%-3% target. Most economists were forecasting a cut today and had anticipated more easing next year, after inflation expectations dropped and the labor market slowed.“Today’s decision shows that the RBNZ is not afraid to stare down financial markets,” said Dominick Stephens, New Zealand chief economist at Westpac Banking Corp. in Auckland. “The RBNZ will act on its assessment of the data rather than following markets.”New Zealand’s economy has cooled, with annual growth slowing to 2.1% in the second quarter from 3.2% a year earlier. Subdued business confidence has damped hiring and investment, while manufacturing and exports have suffered as the U.S.-China trade war stokes concerns about global growth.Subdued GrowthThe RBNZ cut its forecasts for economic growth, saying it now expects gross domestic product to increase 2.2% in the year through March 2020, compared to 2.7% previously. It sees growth rising to 2.7% by early 2021.“We expect economic growth to remain subdued over the remainder of the calendar year,” the bank said. Still, “domestic economic activity is expected to increase during 2020 supported by low interest rates, higher wage growth and increased government spending and investment. The low level of the OCR has flowed through to lower lending rates more generally, which support spending and investment.”Employment remains around its maximum sustainable level, the RBNZ said. A report last week showed the jobless rate rose to 4.2% in the third quarter while annual employment growth was the weakest since 2013.The central bank raised its near-term forecasts for annual inflation, which it now expects will reach 2.1% by the first quarter of 2020 before edging back to 1.7% in early 2021.“Interest rates will need to remain at low levels for a prolonged period to ensure inflation reaches the mid-point of our target range,” the RBNZ said. “We will continue to monitor economic developments and remain prepared to act as required.”(Updates with comment from economist in 10th paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Tracy Withers in Wellington at twithers@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Matthew Brockett at mbrockett1@bloomberg.net, Michael Heath, Michael S. ArnoldFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • It Might Be Better To Avoid Westpac Banking Corporation's (ASX:WBC) Upcoming 2.9% Dividend
    Simply Wall St.

    It Might Be Better To Avoid Westpac Banking Corporation's (ASX:WBC) Upcoming 2.9% Dividend

    Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be...

  • Australia's 'Big Four' banks post second year of lower returns
    Reuters

    Australia's 'Big Four' banks post second year of lower returns

    Australia's four major banks reported a second consecutive year of lower returns, dragged down by hefty customer compensation bills following mis-selling scandals, greater competition and a low credit growth environment. National Australia Bank Ltd , the last of the so-called "Big Four" to report annual earnings, on Thursday posted a 10.6% drop in profit, cut its final dividend and said it planned to raise about A$1.55 billion in new shares to help meet new regulatory capital ratios. NAB and its peers Westpac Banking Corp , Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia were once the envy of banks around the world because of their consistently high profits and returns to shareholders.

  • Business Wire

    Westpac Banking Corporation 2019 Full Year Financial Results for the 12 months Ending 30 September 2019

    Westpac Banking Corporation filed its Annual Report on Form 20-F with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the financial year ended September 30, 2019 on November 4, 2019 .

  • Financial Times

    Australia’s Westpac raising $1.7bn in capital as profit falls

    Australia’s Westpac is raising A$2.5bn ($1.7bn) as the bank seeks to plug a hole in its balance sheet after posting its worst financial results in a decade owing to costs linked to a public inquiry into misconduct, a faltering economy and low interest rates. The country’s second-biggest bank by market capitalisation said on Monday that cash profit fell 15 per cent to A$6.85bn in 2019, with its three main divisions — consumer, business and institutional — all reporting a weaker performance than the previous year. The decline in cash profits is the first since 2009 for Westpac.

  • In rare win for regulators, Australia's Westpac loses case over marketing cold calls
    Reuters

    In rare win for regulators, Australia's Westpac loses case over marketing cold calls

    Westpac Banking Corp staff inappropriately gave personal financial advice when marketing pension funds, an Australian court said, overturning an earlier ruling in a rare win for regulators under pressure to crack down on misconduct in the finance sector. From 2013 to 2016, Westpac contacted customers by mail and phone offering to help them shift money from other pension funds to its own, boosting its own holdings by about A$650 million ($440 million), the Federal Court said. The court gave ASIC and Westpac two weeks to agree on what public declarations the bank must give.

  • Is Westpac Banking Corporation's (ASX:WBC) CEO Paid Enough Relative To Peers?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is Westpac Banking Corporation's (ASX:WBC) CEO Paid Enough Relative To Peers?

    In 2015 Brian Hartzer was appointed CEO of Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC). First, this article will compare CEO...

  • Pimco Lays Out Australian Bond Playbook as QE Talk Grows
    Bloomberg

    Pimco Lays Out Australian Bond Playbook as QE Talk Grows

    (Bloomberg) -- Pacific Investment Management Co. expanded holdings of Australian state debt and Kangaroo bonds sold by top-rated borrowers as the prospect of further policy easing in the nation boosts their attractiveness.The Reserve Bank of Australia will probably cut interest rates once more before potentially embarking on quantitative easing to spur inflation, according to Robert Mead, Pimco’s co-head of portfolio management for Asia Pacific. The money manager has turned neutral from overweight on Australian sovereign debt, he said in an interview from Sydney.Debate over the likelihood of QE in Australia is picking up pace with economists arguing that one more rate cut will bring the central bank to the lowest policy level it can tolerate. A small sovereign debt market, which has rallied through the year as RBA slashed rates to a record low, suggests that any systemic asset purchases may need to cover a wider pool of securities.“Any sort of QE that was targeted at that end of the spectrum would be largely ineffective,” Mead said, referring to sovereign bonds. “That leaves buying other assets that could be supportive whether that be residential mortgage-backed securities, or credit,” even though nothing is cheap any more, he added.In such an environment, even the very low-risk securities, such as the semi-government bonds, will be very well supported, he said. “We’re very happy even though yields look low,” said Mead, who helps oversee the Pimco Australian Bond Fund which beat 92% of peers this year.The RBA slashed its cash rate to 0.75% in October, the third reduction this year, and said it’s prepared to ease again to support growth and fuel inflation. Yields on 10-year sovereign notes have tumbled to as low as 0.85% in August from 2.37% in January.The room for further rate cuts could be limited, with Westpac Banking Corp.’s influential economist Bill Evans arguing that a 0.5% policy rate could be the lower bound. RBA Governor Philip Lowe has also said that negative interest rates are “extraordinary unlikely.”Massive purchases of sovereign bonds may be challenging, with Australia’s net government debt amounting to 21% of its gross domestic product. That compares with 81% in the U.S. and 154% in Japan.Widening SpreadsPimco has snapped up Kangaroo bonds -- Aussie dollar debt sold by offshore institutions -- and local-currency notes issued by top-rated semi-government borrowers due in five to seven years where spreads have widened against sovereign paper, Mead said.Sales of Kangaroo bonds swelled to A$10.7 billion ($7.3 billion) last quarter, the largest for a three-month period in more than a year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Mead’s other comments on Australia:We know that since central banks globally moved into negative rates territory, none of them have really been comfortable in the negative rates space. So for central banks that haven’t been into negative territory so far, I think it’s unlikely that they do anytime going forward.The RBA has suggested that they wouldn’t go negative, they’ve intimated that QE or some form of alternative support will start before interest rates got to zero.The thing to bear in mind though is when other central banks around the world first embarked on QE, assets were cheap. So for a central bank to start down the QE path now, there’s nothing cheap. Our pension system in Australia is way underweight in fixed income anyway, so do we really want the central bank to buy even more?If you put the whole mosaic together, as a bond investor you can have a high degree of comfort that interest rates might go up a little bit but they won’t go up much.Fed CutsMead also favors U.S. Treasuries, predicting that the Federal Reserve may deliver up to three more rate cuts should the U.S.-China trade conflict drag on. Policy makers could ease less than that if there is a resolution as “both sides now have enough real data to suggest that the trade war is contributing to this window of weakness” in growth, he said.“We still see U.S. duration or U.S. Treasuries as one of the preferred defensive assets still available,” Mead said. Treasuries are “a place you want to be overweight versus areas like Europe, the U.K., Japan,” he said.(Adds to Mead’s comments in quotes)\--With assistance from Stephen Spratt.To contact the reporter on this story: Ruth Carson in Singapore at rliew6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tan Hwee Ann at hatan@bloomberg.net, Liau Y-SingFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Moody's

    Liberty Series 2019-1 SME -- Moody's assigns definitive ratings to Liberty's SME transaction

    The transaction is a securitisation of loans to self-managed superfunds (SMSFs), small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals, originated by Liberty Financial Pty Limited (Liberty, unrated). "IMPORTANT NOTICE: MOODY'S RATINGS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY RETAIL INVESTORS.

  • 6 Stocks Outperforming the S&P 500 Index
    GuruFocus.com

    6 Stocks Outperforming the S&P 500 Index

    Moody's tops the list Continue reading...

  • Moody's

    Liberty Series 2019-1 SME -- Moody's assigns provisional ratings to Liberty's 2019-1 SME transaction

    Moody's Investors Service has assigned the following provisional long term ratings to the notes to be issued by Liberty Funding Pty Ltd in respect of the Liberty Series 2019-1 SME. The transaction is a securitisation of loans to self-managed superfunds (SMSFs), small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals, originated by Liberty Financial Pty Limited (Liberty, unrated). "IMPORTANT NOTICE: MOODY'S RATINGS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY RETAIL INVESTORS.

  • Reuters

    Australia's Westpac considers sale of life insurance unit-sources

    Westpac Banking Corp, Australia's second-largest bank, is considering selling its life insurance business, two sources told Reuters, in what could be the last of the Big Four lenders to exit the industry. Westpac has not made a final decision to divest the unit, but it has received some interest and discussions are at a preliminary stage, one of the sources said. The sources declined to be identified because the plans are private.

  • Have Insiders Been Buying Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) Shares This Year?
    Simply Wall St.

    Have Insiders Been Buying Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) Shares This Year?

    It is not uncommon to see companies perform well in the years after insiders buy shares. On the other hand, we'd be...

  • 3 Large-Cap Stocks With High Forward Dividend Yields
    GuruFocus.com

    3 Large-Cap Stocks With High Forward Dividend Yields

    These companies are outperforming the S&P; 500 Continue reading...

  • Reuters

    Investing green is all the rage, but benchmarks still hazy

    Global money managers and companies are rushing to meet a deadline to report on their carbon footprint, but the lack of a standard metric raises concerns their efforts could just be a box-ticking exercise in the transition from brown to green. From 2020, firms with some $118 trillion of funds under management - among 800 signatories to a United Nations pact - will make climate-risk related disclosures as an early step towards making the world a better place by 2030. The problem with assessing carbon footprints is that there are no universal criteria for benchmarking environmental, social and governance (ESG) - the key factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment.

  • Moody's

    Westpac Lenders Mortgage Insurance Limited -- Moody's announces completion of a periodic review of ratings of Westpac Lenders Mortgage Insurance Limited

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Westpac Lenders Mortgage Insurance Limited and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. "IMPORTANT NOTICE: MOODY'S RATINGS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY RETAIL INVESTORS. This publication does not announce a credit rating action and is not an indication of whether or not a credit rating action is likely in the near future.

  • Could Westpac Banking Corporation's (ASX:WBC) Investor Composition Influence The Stock Price?
    Simply Wall St.

    Could Westpac Banking Corporation's (ASX:WBC) Investor Composition Influence The Stock Price?

    The big shareholder groups in Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX:WBC) have power over the company. Institutions will...

  • Moody's

    Westpac Banking Corporation, Hong Kong Branch -- Moody's announces completion of a periodic review of ratings of Westpac Banking Corporation

    Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") has completed a periodic review of the ratings of Westpac Banking Corporation and other ratings that are associated with the same analytical unit. "IMPORTANT NOTICE: MOODY'S RATINGS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY RETAIL INVESTORS. This publication does not announce a credit rating action and is not an indication of whether or not a credit rating action is likely in the near future.