Last week, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) reported 8% growth in unaudited cash profit and shares have reacted accordingly, climbing 1.77% in just seven days.
So why is it up?
Investors are obviously attracted to the group’s continuous growth in Asia, from which the bank plans to draw between 25% and 30% of revenues by 2017. This has a number of obvious benefits for shareholders and enables the bank to become regionally connected to business and trade partners.
ANZ said: “Our unique regional capability also helped us regain the number one lead bank position in Institutional Banking in Australia and retain the number one lead bank position in New Zealand.”
In New Zealand, the bank’s rebranding strategy, a strengthening economy and improving credit quality helped ANZ to grow cash profits by an impressive 19%.
However, in my opinion, that wasn’t the most impressive result for investors from last week’s report. Once again, despite seasonal impacts which usually occur in the second half, Global Markets revenue grew by 6% and reinforced CEO Mike Smith’s vision for a truly ‘Super Regional’ bank.
Speaking about ANZ’s FY14 performance to date Mr Smith said, “ANZ has continued to perform well with strong results in Asia and consistent performances in both New Zealand and Australia despite part of the Australian economy being a little slower than expected.”
To buy, or not?
ANZ is clearly firing on a majority of its cylinders and there appears little, short of a credit crunch, which will slow it down. However shares aren’t cheap and whilst I’m very bullish on the bank, I believe now is not the right time to be buying any bank stocks. Instead I believe investors should adopt a wait-and-see approach – after all patience doesn’t lose you money!
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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned in this article.