Macquarie predicts rise in second half profits

7 February 2007

Australia's Macquarie Bank has said that it expects profits for the last six months of the financial year to be "up strongly" on profits reported for the same period last year.

Speaking at a briefing to investors and market analysts, Macquarie's chief executive Allan Moss said that an increase in assets under management, together with strong incomes from fund management operations, promised a good performance for the six months ending in March.

"The Bank has benefited from continuing good conditions across most markets, especially from good equity markets in Australia and internationally," Mr Moss said, adding that staff numbers were also up by 15 per cent compared with a year ago.

"As is usual at this part of the market cycle, there is also increased competition for staff, especially in international markets," he said.

The third quarter saw Macquarie's assets under management increase by 16 per cent to $138 billion.

However, profits are expected to be down slightly compared with the first six months of the financial year - news which saw share prices fall by as much as four per cent on Tuesday.

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