UPDATE 1-Stanchart Kenya nine-month profit jumps on loan growth

Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:44am EST

NAIROBI Nov 15 (Reuters) - Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya posted a 70 percent jump in nine-month pretax profit, the latest Kenyan bank to beat market expectations on growth in its loan portfolio.

Analysts had not expect Standard Chartered to increase its loan book because of Kenya's high interest rates but interest income from loans and advances rose 82.5 percent to 11.4 billion shillings in the nine months to the end of September.

The bank, controlled by Standard Chartered Plc, said on Thursday profit rose to 9.24 billion shillings ($108 million). It did not give a reason for the growth in loans.

Net interest income rose 50 percent to 10.74 billion shillings from 7.13 billion shillings a year earlier.

"It is a conservative (lender and) you would not expect them to weather the storm of high interest rates," Ronald Lugalia, analyst at Afrika Investment Bank, said.

Kenyan lenders have reported strong profit growth this year even though interest rates jumped after the central bank jacked up its key rate late last year to contain inflation.

Shares rose 0.4 percent to close at 234 shillings.

"I would expect the (share) price to continue going up because today it closed with a big demand in the market," Lugalia added.

Standard Chartered on Tuesday raised 8.3 billion shillings ($97.1 million) through a rights issue to fund growth and support its balance sheet.

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