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Strong business lending underpins ASB result

Strong business lending underpins ASB result

(12 August 2005 – New Zealand) New Zealand’s ASB Bank has posted a NZ$383 million profit after tax for the 12 months to 30 June 2005. ASB, which is owned by Australia’s Commonwealth Bank and was the former workplace of incoming CBA chief executive Ralph Norris, grew its full year profit by 21 percent.

ASB chairman Gary Judd said business lending grew 23 percent, personal loans increased 19 percent and rural lending was up 22 percent.

"In the past decade we have been increasing our focus on the business and rural markets while maintaining our stronghold on the home mortgage market, and the benefits of this strategy are flowing into our profit performance," Judd said.

He said ASB’s corporate, securities, wealth management and financial services operations all made excellent contributions to the bank’s result.

"ASB continues to fund a major portion of its operations from personal and business savings and investments," Judd said.

He said total deposits at the end of the year stood at NZ$32 billion, an increase of 23 percent, while business funding was up 21 percent on the previous year.
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