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Macquarie in fund raising

MACQUARIE Group has raised A$1.2bn (&pound;593m) from shareholders, in another boost for the Australian investment bank, which has seen the price of its stock double in the past three months.<br /><br />The cash injection means Macquarie now holds $4.3bn more than the minimum capital requirement imposed by regulators.<br /><br />Its shares have risen from a 10-year-low of $15.75 in March to above $37 this week.<br /><br />As well as the $540m raised in an under-written institutional offer, Macquarie said it had raised $669m from retail shareholders, more than three times the amount expected by the market.<br /><br />The bank has seen renewed confidence despite reporting its first decline in earnings in 17 years earlier this month, with net profits falling to A$871m for 2008-09 from a record A$1.8bn in the year earlier.&nbsp; The drop was partially due to $2.5bn of asset writedowns.<br /><br />Macquarie has fared better than some of its peers recently because it steered clear of the US subprime mortgage market.<br /><br />Chief executive Nicholas Moore says the company is now poised to make further acquisitions, as current prices had become more attractive.