The new Australian federal budget includes a 6 basis point (100 basis points equal one percentage point) annual tax on liabilities at the country’s five biggest banks. The tax would apply to liabilities including senior bonds, covered bonds, subordinated bonds and all retail deposits above A$250,000 per individual. The levy would raise about A$6.2 billion over four years, the government estimates, and is designed to reassure credit rating companies that have begun to question the government’s spending.
The proposed tax would reduce earnings at major banks by about 4.5%, Morgan Stanley estimates, and would cut about 1.6 percentage points from earnings per share for the Australian stock market.
Since peaking at $26.66 on May 1, New York traded ADRs for Westpac Banking have fallen back to $24.03 at the close today. That still leaves the ADRs up 2.34% for 2017 as of the May 11 close. The ADRs yield 5.78%, which is why they’re in my Dividend Portfolio in the first place.
I don’t see the new tax materially changing the concentration of power in the Australian banking sector or endangering the ability of Westpac to pay that dividend.
The ADRs are up 43.18% in price since I added them to this portfolio back on February 3, 2012.