(Adds forecasts from commodities, securities divisions, share performance)
SYDNEY, July 24 (Reuters) - Macquarie Group, Australia’s top investment bank, on Thursday said results for the year ending March 2015 would be in line with the previous year, although it warned of short-term challenges such as foreign exchange and tax uncertainties.
Macquarie’s FY14 annual net profit had crossed A$1 billion ($943.7 mln) for the first time in four years, giving investors confidence in its strategy of “de-risking” from its traditional investment banking operations.
The bank’s commodity trading business, which was the main driver of earnings in FY14, and annuity-style business are expected to match last year’s performance, it said in a statement ahead of its annual general meeting.
“The FY15 result for the group is expected to be broadly in line with FY14, with the potential for a better result if market conditions improve,” the bank said in a statement ahead of its annual general meeting.
The only division to see a downgrade was securities, which was likely to earn less than the A$100 million it did the previous year.
While the bank did not specify a reason for the downgrade, it said low volatility, reduced secondary market volumes and client activity particularly in Asia, had hit the June quarter results for the division.
The bank’s shares have climbed more than 11 percent so far this year compared with a 4.2 percent rise in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index. ($1 = 1.0597 Australian Dollars) (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Stephen Coates)