B&B profits from listing rush

Investment bank Babcock & Brown expects to beat its 2005 profit forecast by 10 per cent. The bank delivered its first set of accounts yesterday since changing from a private partnership based in San Francisco to a listed investment bank, reporting a pre-tax operating profit for 2004 of $157 million. Shares in B&B were issued at $5 a piece to some of Australia's most high profile investors including the Lowy and Packer families. They closed at $10.50 yesterday. Since listing, B&B has raised capital for three new funds, including the $1 billion B&B Capital fund.