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Commonwealth Bank Profit Climbs on Impairments Drop, Housing

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s biggest lender, reported a 14 percent increase in first-half profit to a record on lower bad-debt charges and growth in home lending.

Cash profit, which excludes one-time items, rose to A$4.27 billion ($3.85 billion) in the six months ended Dec. 31 from A$3.75 billion a year earlier, the Sydney-based lender said in a statement. That beat the A$4.17 billion median estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The bank set aside A$457 million for bad debts, 26 percent less than a year earlier.