ANZ writes back loss provision in third quarter as economy rebounds

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd said on Wednesday it had released A$53 million ($38.5 million) set aside for potential loan losses into its third-quarter profit, encouraged by the country’s post-pandemic economic rebound.

Australia’s control of the pandemic until earlier this year drove property prices and credit growth higher, allowing big banks to reverse loan loss provisions and return excess cash to shareholders.

The country’s fourth-largest lender said its domestic home loan balance sheet shrunk by A$300 million during the quarter, as an A$16.2 billion increase in lending was offset by A$16.5 billion in paydowns.

The lender said it had provided deferrals on about 1,300 home loans domestically from July to Aug. 10, equivalent to about A$600 million, and that about 80% of housing and business loan deferrals were in New South Wales state. ($1 = 1.3782 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)