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Rally cry for Youth Day

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					 mercury                                                                                                                                                                          news
                                                                                                                       $bn
                                                                                                                                                                        Half yearly net profit
                                                                                                                       2.5



   Rally cry for Youth Day                                                                                             2.0


                                                                                                                       1.5




                                                                                                                             June 1998




                                                                                                                                                                                                Dec 2006
                                                                                                                       1.0


                                                                                                                       0.5




                                                                                                                       CBA posts
                                                                                                                       profit, but
                                                                                                                       news not
                                                                                                                       all good
                                                                                                                       By ROSS KELLY                                ‘‘Looking forward, growth is
                                                                                                                                                                 likely to remain below levels ex-
                                                                                                                       COMMONWEALTH Bank of Aust-                perienced in recent years due to
                                                                                                                       ralia Ltd has posted a 10 per cent        capacity constraints and the im-
                                                                                                                       rise in first-half profit on strong       pact of the drought,’’ he said.
                                                                                                                       funds management earnings and a              A slowing but still buoyant econ-
                                                                                                                       resilient mortgage book while             omy and takeover activity fuelled
                                                                                                                       maintaining its full year outlook.        a strong performance from the
                                                                                                                         But a loss of market share in its       Australian stock market in the
                                                                                                                       key divisions and declining mar-          half, providing a boost to CBA’s
                                                                                                                       gins took some sheen off the              wealth management arm, Colonial
                                                                                                                       bank’s share price.                       First State.
                                                                                                                         In what chief executive Ralph              Colonial was the bank’s star
                                                                                                                       Norris described as a ‘‘benign’’          performer with an underlying net
                                                                                                                       trading environment, Australia’s          profit of $232 million, up 27 per
                                                                                                                       second largest bank yesterday po-         cent on the same period last year.
  True believers: Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell has called on the Wollongong community and business        sted a record interim profit of              The banking business, which
  to support World Youth Day in July next year.                                        Picture: HANK van STUIVENBERG   $2.191 billion.                           still accounts for most of the
                                                                                                                         Its underlying cash net profit          bank’s earnings and includes
  By GREG ELLIS                         schools and church halls.              December 8 and 9 this year and          was $2.271 billion, up 19 per cent,       mortgages and credit cards, grew
                                          More than 500,000 people are         from March 25 to April 5 in 2008.       and above analysts’ expectations          its profit by 17 per cent to $1.867
  THE Catholic Diocese of Wollon-       expected to attend a mass at             He has previously been in-            of a result around $2.154 billion.        billion.
  gong will play a key role in a        Randwick.                              volved in leading pilgrimages of          But the rise in profit failed to           Mr Norris said credit quality
  global event next year that is          Addressing the Lord Mayor’s          young Australians to World              inspire the market with CBA               remained strong and that three
  expected to attract up to 120,000     Business Luncheon at the               Youth Days in Rome, Toronto             shares falling 25¢ to $51.35.             interest rate rises in calendar 2006
  international visitors to Sydney.     Novotel Northbeach, Cardinal           and Cologne.                              Mr Norris said all of the bank’s        by the Reserve Bank of Australia
    Archbishop of Sydney Cardi-         Pell spoke passionately about            The lunch hosted by Wollon-           businesses had performed well in          had failed to weaken its mortgage
  nal George Pell revealed the          the event but did not want Wol-        gong Lord Mayor Alex Darling            the six months to December 31 and         book.
  Wollongong diocese would host a       longong to get its hopes too high      helped the Wollongong diocese’s         had continued to do so in the                Rate rises did provide a boost to
  series of events in the lead up to    about a visit to the city by Pope      call for community and business         second half.                              the bank’s retail deposit book,
  World Youth Day and accommo-          Benedict XVI.                          support for the region’s involve-         ‘‘At the moment, the situation is       which is the biggest in the country.
  date 10,000 of the international        He said many centres in the          ment in the World Youth Day.            still rather benign,’’ Mr Norris             Nonetheless, the bank’s net in-
  visitors in Australia for the         Wollongong diocese would host            Diocesan executive officer            said.                                     terest margin - a key measure of
  week-long event in July next          the Journey of the Cross and Icon      Daniel Hopper said Wollongong             ‘‘We have seen strong momen-            profitability - fell seven basis
  year.                                 that would visit our region twice      events were likely to include a         tum carry through into January            points over the half to 2.22 per
    Another 1200 to 1500 people         for a total of 12 days.                fundraising concert to help             and at this point our businesses          cent.
  are expected to visit Wollongong        At 3.8m high, it takes four          youth in low-income countries in        are performing strongly.’’                   Also on the negative side, the
  for a Day in the Diocese, a           people to carry the cross and          the Oceania region to attend the          He reiterated the bank’s guid-          bank lost market share in most of
  cultural exchange event held          another two to carry the icon.         event. There was also likely to be      ance of last November for it to at        its key divisions, including home
  before World Youth Day.                 Cardinal Pell likened the            a Festival of the Cross in Wollon-      least match the earnings per share        lending, retail deposits and credit
    They will be accommodated in        journey of the cross to that of the    gong and a Great Aussie BBQ for         growth of its peers for the full          cards.
  parish homes but the 10,000 will      Olympic torch, and said it would       international pilgrims at a venue       year.                                        CBA declared an interim divi-
  be put up in institutions such as     visit the Wollongong diocese on        such as WIN Stadium.                      But Mr Norris warned the econ-          dend of $1.07, up from 94¢ in the
                                                                                                                       omy may be more subdued.                  previous corresponding half year.



Kayaker faces new charges                                                                                                                 Valentine’s Day tragedy
                                                                                                                                         ONE man was gunned
                                                                                                                                         down and another was in
                                                                                                                                                                          Neighbours reported
                                                                                                                                                                        hearing three shots and
CHAMPION kayaker Nathan Baggaley is                  He was not required to plead.                                                       hospital last night with a     saw a white four-wheel
focused on training for the upcoming Bei-            The matter was adjourned until March 28                                             gunshot wound to the head      drive leave.
jing Olympics despite facing fresh drug           and Baggaley, 31, was granted bail on his                                              after a love triangle boiled     About 4pm yesterday, of-
allegations, his lawyer says.                     own undertaking.                                                                       over into a Valentine’s        ficers raided a Mudgee
   Baggaley, 31, a dual Olympic silver medal-        Outside court, his lawyer Peter Shields                                             Day tragedy in a sleepy        real estate agency and
list and three-time world kayak champion,         refused to comment on the charges.                                                     NSW town.                      found a 48-year-old man
yesterday appeared in the Brisbane Magis-            But he said his client was looking forward                                            Emergency crews were         with a gunshot wound to
trates Court charged with possession of a         to training for the Olympics in Beijing next                                           early yesterday called to      the head. He was last night
pill press used to manufacture drugs, and         year.                                                                                  Cainbil St in Gulgong, near    under guard in Mudgee
possession of a dangerous drug.                      Mr Shields also said he would make a                                                Mudgee in NSW’s central        Hospital. The business-
   Baggaley was already facing five drug-         submission to the prosecution designed to                                              west, and found the body       man had reportedly
related charges laid last week.                   ‘‘hopefully resolve the matter’’.                                                      of David Glenn Nichols, a      threatened to shoot Mr
   It’s alleged the pill press and an amount         Baggaley appeared in a Gold Coast court                                             divorced father who had        Nichols two years ago, af-
of ecstasy were found at Baggaley’s Mer-          last week charged with five drug offences,                                             worked in a nearby coal        ter accusing him of having
maid Waters home on the Gold Coast on             including supplying and possessing ecstasy,                                            mine for 28 years.             an affair with his wife.
February 2.                                       carrying maximum 25-year jail terms.                     NATHAN BAGGALEY

BUY IT, SELL IT, TELL IT, Mercury Classifieds 13 24 25                                                                                     ILLAWARRA MERCURY, Thursday February 15, 2007               9

				
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