Commonwealth Bank shares rise to record on profit results

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Commonwealth Bank logoImage source, AFP
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Commonwealth Bank is the largest of Australia "Big Four" lenders

Shares of Australia's biggest lender, Commonwealth Bank, hit a record after the firm reported higher profit.

The stock rose 0.5% to A$80.40 in Sydney trading, bucking a downward trend in the overall market.

The firm's unaudited cash profit, which excludes one-time items, rose 16% from the previous year to A$2.2bn ($2.1bn; £1.2bn) for the three months to March.

Commonwealth Bank said it benefited from increased mortgage lending as well as lower bad debt charges.

"System mortgage credit growth was moderate," the firm said in a statement.

"Lower interest rates supported strong growth in new business activity compared to the prior year, however this was balanced by higher levels of loan repayments."

Commonwealth Bank issues one in every four mortgages in Australia, making home loans its biggest business.

However, the bank said commercial lending remained "subdued" and that increased competition among the nation's lenders would put pressure on future profits.

Commonwealth Bank is the largest of Australia "Big Four" lenders, with the others being Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), National Australia Bank and Westpac Bank.

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