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Macquarie Group: Dry powder at the ready

Macquarie has emerged from the pandemic cashed-up and ready to spend.

At Macquarie’s most recent results – announced in October and covering the six months to September 30, 2021 – chief executive Shemara Wikramanayake announced not only a 107% year-on-year increase in first half profit to A$2.04 billion ($1.5 billion) but also a A$1.5 billion capital raising.

That capital raising is, in the main, dry powder, with nothing specific earmarked for its deployment. It represents a level of confidence that Macquarie, across its disparate businesses, is going to find good ways to put that money to work.

Shemara Wikramanayake

Where might that happen? At the half year, all four of Macquarie’s core underlying businesses were not only growing but already spending. Between them they had already deployed A$5.5 billion of capital over the 12 months to September: A$900 million through Macquarie Asset Management, which has bought Waddell & Reed in the US and a portfolio of fixed income business from AMP; A$400 million through banking and financial services on the home loan portfolio; A$2 billion in commodities and global markets, driven by platform growth; and A$1.7

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