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Bendigo credit outlook stable, says Fitch

Bendigo credit outlook stable, says Fitch

(18 January 2006 – Australia) Fitch Ratings has affirmed Bendigo Bank’s ratings at Long Term ‘BBB+’, Short Term ‘F2’, and Support ‘4’, following a review of the Australian regional bank. Fitch said the outlook for Bendigo was Stable.

Bendigo posted a pre-tax full year result of A$87.4 million in 2005, a 19.4 percent increase on the previous year, and the bank has been growing at around 20 percent over the past five years. It said it now has one million customers.

Fitch said the bank had solid capitalisation and sound asset quality, but also took into consideration its small size and the fact that most of its business was in the residential mortgage market.

Fitch said Bendigo’s margins had been put under pressure because of a slowdown in housing finance and increasing competition in both the lending and retail deposits markets.

"Nonetheless, asset quality remained sound at FYE05 with the bank’s gross impaired assets equal to 0.15 percent of gross loans," Fitch said.

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