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Why Westpac Banking Corp and ANZ Bank shares are in the red today

In early afternoon trade the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price are amongst the biggest blue-chip fallers.

The shares of both banks are down almost 3% at the time of writing.

Why are they lower?

Thankfully today’s decline is not a banking sector sell-off, but rather a case of both banks’ shares going ex-dividend this morning.

Eligible Westpac shareholders can now look forward to receiving its fully franked 94 cents per share final dividend in their accounts just in time for Christmas on December 22.

There isn’t as long a wait for eligible ANZ shareholders. Its fully franked final dividend of 80 cents per share is due to hit shareholders’ accounts on December 18.

What’s next?

Now that they have gone ex-dividend investors will no doubt be deciding on whether they want to hold onto their shares for the medium to long-term.

While I’m not a buyer of either of their shares on valuation grounds at the moment, I not a seller either. I would class both Westpac and ANZ as holds at the moment, due largely to their generous dividends.

But should they slide another 5% I would consider adding ANZ to my portfolio and topping up on Westpac shares.

But until that happens I would suggest investors consider the other quality dividend shares that the Australian share market has to offer.

These dividend shares, for example, could be great options for investors today.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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