1 Aug 2011

Battering for investment bank

7:00 am on 1 August 2011

Macquarie Group has lowered its profit forecast for the first half of the year.

Radio New Zealand's Sydney correspondent says the Australian investment bank can't take a trick at the moment. Its business model of buying infrastructure assets, loading them with debt and extracting fat management fees was busted by the financial crisis.

Regulatory changes threaten to lift its costs. A slowdown in merger and acquisition activity is hitting revenue from deals and rocky investment markets are hurting its trading business.

Against that background, it's no surprise that Macquarie lowered its first half profit guidance, though it stuck by its forecast of a full-year result above last year's profit of almost $A1 billion.

The market nevertheless punished Macquarie for the warning, sending its shares to a two-year low and bringing their losses for the year to 24%.