ANZ NZ annual dividend may hit NZ$1 bln for first time in three years

ANZ NZ annual dividend may hit NZ$1 bln for first time in three years

By Gareth Vaughan

ANZ New Zealand, the country's biggest bank, may pay its Australian parent up to NZ$1 billion worth of dividends over its current financial year. Such a payout would be its highest dividend since 2009.

The group, which includes the ANZ and National banks, UDC Finance and fund manager OnePath, is on track to notch record annual profit after tax for the September 30 year for the second straight year, given its profit for the first nine months of the year was just NZ$120 million behind 2011's NZ$1.085 billion.

ANZ NZ paid parent ANZ Banking Group a NZ$400 million dividend in April and its latest general disclosure statement notes the board will pay an ordinary dividend of NZ$600 million no later than 30 September 2012. A spokesman for ANZ NZ said this would be paid to ANZ Holdings (New Zealand) Limited and how it is used from there was a separate decision that hadn't been made yet.

Last year ANZ NZ paid NZ$421 million in dividends, down from NZ$492 million in 2010 and NZ$1 billion in 2009. It paid NZ$1.169 billion in 2008 and NZ$600 million in 2007 for a total of NZ$3.68 billion in dividends over five years.

The spokesman said ANZ had invested NZ$1.7 billion in New Zealand over the last three years.

As of June 30 ANZ NZ had total equity of NZ$8.98 billion and a leverage ratio, or the number of times the total assets of the bank are larger than the shareholder's investment, of 10.6. See our New Zealand trading bank leverage page here.

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