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Kick Off: Macquarie Group Ltd versus Westfield Corp

In the fourth and last semi-final of The Motley Fool’s ASX World Cup, investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) takes on shopping centre giant Westfield Corp (ASX: WFD). The winner gets to take on Computershare Ltd (ASX: CPU) in the next round for a shot at the Final.

Both teams have shown some good form in the previous rounds, with Macquarie edging out Resmed (ASX: RMD), while Westfield narrowly accounted for Santos Limited (ASX: STO).

So without further ado, let’s see how these two giants of the ASX line up…

Measure Macquarie Westfield
Market capital $19 billion $15.4 billion
Last price $59.30 $7.42
Return on equity 11.1% 10.5%
Price to book value 1.5 1.0
P/E ratio 15.7x 17.5x
Dividend yield 4.7% (partly franked) 3.8% (unfranked)

Source: Commsec, CapitalIQ

Kick Off

Westfield looks refreshed, thanks to its recent restructure and totally focused on global shopping mall domination these days. No longer a boring property trust, this is a growth company with a huge pipeline of developments, including centres in Milan and New York. Macquarie isn’t resting on its laurels either, thanks to its global exposure and a beneficiary of surging stockmarkets around the world, not to mention a jump in merger and acquisition activity and a string of IPOs coming to market.

So it’s tough going, with neither company able to score in the first half. But shortly after the break Macquarie unveils its secret weapon – a push to compete against the big four banks in Australia’s mortgage market, and it immediately pays dividends. Macquarie scores, 1-0.

Westfield may have become a bit complacent over its abilities, and forced to sell out of its joint venture in Brazil last year, is still licking its wounds. Macquarie goes from strength to strength, with profits rising by 49% in the last financial year, return on equity is heading higher and can see solid growth ahead. Macquarie manages to slot home a second goal before the final whistle, winning the match 2-0.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in Resmed and Santos. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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