ANZ 9-mth cash profit up 8 pct on strong loan, Asia growth

SYDNEY Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:17pm EDT

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SYDNEY Aug 15 (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, the country's No. 3 bank by market value, on Friday reported an 8 percent rise in unaudited cash profit for the nine months to June led by strong loan growth and as its Asia business gained momentum.

ANZ reported a cash profit of A$5.2 billion ($4.84 billion) for the period. It did not give year ago comparisons. For the six months to March, it had cash profit of A$3.5 billion. Group net interest margin was slightly lower compared to the end of March.

ANZ is the only one of Australia's highly profitable big four lenders to have set its sights on developing a large business in Asia, steadily building infrastructure and profits in a region experiencing rapid economic and loan growth. ($1 = 1.0738 Australian dollar) (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Chris Reese)

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