SYDNEY May 15 Commonwealth Bank of Australia , the country's top lender by market value, on Wednesday posted an 8.57 percent rise in third-quarter cash profit to A$1.9 billion ($1.88 billion), helped by a higher net interest margin.
The unaudited cash profit in the three months to March compared with A$1.75 billion a year ago. Cash profit, which excludes one-offs and non-cash accounting items, is closely watched by investors.
CBA's results capped off a bumper quarterly earnings period for Australia's "Big Four" banks which have reported record combined profits in recent weeks.
(A$1 = $0.9901) (Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Stephen Coates)