Macquarie Bank Raises $625 Million Via Share Sale

Macquarie Bank, Australia's top listed investment bank, said it raised A$750 million (US$625 million) from a sale of new shares to fund its international expansion.

Macquarie sold 8.62 million shares at A$87 each, a 2.8% discount to its last traded price of A$89.50 on Monday, when it halted trading in its shares because of the capital raising.

The shares rose 2.4 percent to A$91.60 on Wednesday when trading restarted.

"The issue received strong support from local and international investors and was significantly oversubscribed, enabling it to be priced at the top end of the bookbuild range," Chief Financial Officer Greg Ward said in a statement.

Macquarie posted a 69% jump in second-half profit on Tuesday due to asset sales, takeovers and robust equity markets, and said it was planning for continued strong growth with international income expected to continue to make an increasingly important contribution.

With the latest capital raising, Macquarie's tier one capital, a measure of the strength of its balance sheet, rose to 16.9% from about 12.4% at the end of March a year ago.

Analysts said the raising was indicative of Macquarie's upbeat outlook on global mergers and acquisition opportunities, though the bank would also be mindful of the need to keep its balance sheet healthy while it pursued big deals.

"There is a large pipeline of deals and the execution of these would have led to a regulator-inspired need for capital Wilson HTM analysts wrote in research report.

The bank, which manages A$197 billion in assets globally, buys toll roads, airports, power and water utilities and bundles them into listed and unlisted funds and charges fees for managing them.

It was part of a consortium that earlier this month failed in a takeover bid for Qantas Airways, and lost out to smaller rival Babcock & Brown in the bidding for Australia's largest energy infrastructure firm, Alinta.

Ward said the additional capital raised would be used to facilitate growth in all regions and across all businesses, especially internationally. "We have experienced unprecedented growth across the entire business. The capital raising will enable this momentum to be maintained," he said.