Why has the CBA share price outperformed its big four peers in March?

Here’s what helped boost the CBA share price to the front of the pack this month.

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Key points

  • The CBA share price has gained 14% in March, making it the month's best performing big four bank
  • It has beaten the performance of NAB's stock by 2% this month. It has also outperformed the share prices of Westpac and ANZ by 7%
  • The CBA share price has been driven higher by a $1.8 billion divestment, but that wasn't the only news to pique the market's interest in March

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) share price blew those of its competitors out of the water in March.

At the time of writing, it’s trading at $106.49, around 14% higher than it was at the end of February.

For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has gained 7% over the same time frame.

So, what’s been sending the CBA share price higher in March, and by how much has it outperformed its big banking buddies? Let’s take a look.

What’s been driving the CBA share price in March?

The month started off with a bang for the CBA share price when it gained 1.46% on the back of an estimated $1.8 billion divestment.

The biggest Aussie bank announced it had agreed to sell a 10% stake in Chinese counterpart, Bank of Hangzhou, on 1 March.

It will continue to own an approximate 5.6% stake in the bank until 2025 at the earliest.

CBA CEO Matt Comyn noted the sale will allow the ASX-listed bank to “focus on [its] core banking business in Australia and New Zealand.”

Speaking of Comyn, he raised some eyebrows and, perhaps, some concerns this month when he offloaded a sizeable chunk of CBA shares on-market.  

The CEO sold 13,520 shares in the bank for a total of approximately $1.4 million on 15 March.

That left Comyn with a direct holding of a little over 50,000 CBA shares, an indirect holding of slightly more than 34,000 shares, and a healthy collection of rights.

CBA also paid out its interim dividend yesterday.

Shareholders received a full franked $1.75 dividend for every share they owned as of 16 February.

By how much has CBA outperformed its peers in March?

The CBA share price has been the best performing big bank stock in March.

However, it’s been closely trailed by the National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price. It has gained 12% this month.

Meanwhile, the share prices of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) have each gained around 7%.

Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Westpac Banking Corporation. 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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