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No 5 bank downunder investing in the future

No 5 bank downunder investing in the future

(Australia) - Australia's 5th ranked domestic bank, St George Bank, has pointed to its future-focussed internet investments as a key reason for a fall in its half year profits. Net profits produced by the Bank have dropped by A$24 million (11.4 percent) to A$187 million for the half year to March 31 from the same period in 2001. In particular, writedowns encompassing A$87 million in its software platform and research infrastructure for financial planners, Wealthpoint, and other internet investments, have driven the drop in results.

"Reviewed" internet investments contributing to the writedowns have included the Bank's e-commerce partners Ctel Technologies, Autobytel Australia, NSW State Chamber of Commerce's portal, B2B market boomer, Netxsurance, Stockford Limited and Virtual Communities.

In a market producing record results for its primary domestic competitor banks, St George is looking to take the hurt now and gain strategic advantage from 2003/4 from its significant technology plays. The Bank is regularly reported as an innovative player in East & Partners' corporate CFO-based research in the markets, with attributes strongly oriented on its use of and investment in technology.
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