Why has NAB stopped trading?

National Australia Bank shares have been placed in a trading halt after the bank slashed its interim dividend to 30 cents as first-half cash earnings dived 51.4 per cent to $1.46 billion in a surprise early release of the lender’s interim profit result.

The dividend, cut from 83 cents a year ago, comes as NAB increases its collective provisions for forward-looking economic and targeted sector adjustments by $828 million to $2.14 billion.

NAB has also announced a combined $3.5 billion capital raising through a placement and share purchase plan to help bolster its balance sheet.

Statutory net profit for the half-year ended March 31 was $1.31 billion.