* Sees FY revenue rise at lower end of 4-5 pct f'cast range
* Provision charge for bad debt to fall 12 pct in FY
* Asia growth, cost control and lower bad debt provision
(Adds outlook, details from results)
SYDNEY, Aug 15 Australia and New Zealand Banking
Group Ltd, Australia's No. 3 bank by market value,
reported its unaudited cash profit for the nine months to June
grew 8 percent and said it was well placed to meet full-year
In a brief trading update on Friday, ANZ said cash profit
for the period was A$5.2 billion ($4.84 billion), led by strong
loan growth and growing momentum in its Asia business. The bank
didn't provide year-ago comparisons, nor details on profit for
the April-June quarter, but previously said cash profit for the
six months to March was A$3.5 billion.
Melbourne-based 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.
ANZ said a tight rein on costs, lower bad debt provisions
and the strong results in Asia mean it expects full-year revenue
at the lower end of the 4 percent to 5 percent growth range it
The bank didn't put a figure on expected full-year cash
earnings, but said provisions for bad debts in the period are
now expected to fall 12 percent - compared to 10 percent on
previous guidance - from A$1.197 billion a year earlier.
ANZ is accelerating its push into Asia by rejigging key
teams and cutting costs - hoping to meet its current goal to
garner 25-30 percent of its profit from outside Australia by
2017. As part of that strategy, it hired star Citigroup Inc
banker Farhan Faruqui in May to head up international
Among the few details provided for April-June, the bank
cautioned that third-quarter revenue trends were a little softer
than in the first half. Group net interest margin, a key gauge
of bank profitability, was slightly lower due to pricing
"Strong growth in Asia and in businesses linked to Asia
continues to be a highlight," chief executive Mike Smith said in
a statement. "After a period of subdued demand we are seeing
signs of pick-up in corporate sector borrowing appetite."
Earlier this week, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)
, the country's top lender by market value, posted a 12
percent rise in full-year cash profit, marking its fifth
straight year of record annual profits.
Australian banks' strong focus on mortgage lending, tight
cost controls and very low levels of bad debt, as well as hefty
dividend payouts, have made the sector a favourite of investors,
commanding much higher valuations compared to peers.
ANZ is scheduled to report full-year results in November.
($1 = 1.0738 Australian dollar)
(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Chris Reese and Kenneth