Covid Pandemic

Westpac bounces back from pandemic with $583m six-month profit

The bank's half year cash profit for the six months ended March was $583 million, or 98 percent up on last year's $297m.

The bank said a stronger than expected recovery in business and the impact of government support measures resulted in a big drop in the amount set aside for bad and doubtful debts, with the bank writing back $99m, against last year's $211m.

Cisco says computer chip shortage to last six months

Many firms have seen production delayed because of a lack of semiconductors, triggered by the Covid pandemic and exacerbated by other factors.

Cisco chief Chuck Robbins told the BBC: "We think we've got another six months to get through the short term.

"The providers are building out more capacity. And that'll get better and better over the next 12 to 18 months."

That expansion of capacity will be crucial as advances in technology - including 5G, cloud computing, the internet of things and artificial intelligence - drive a big increase in demand.