UPDATE 1-South Africa's Capitec H1 earnings up, CEO to retire

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 25 Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:41am EDT

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JOHANNESBURG, Sept 25 (Reuters) - South African mass-market lender Capitec Bank Holdings reported a 20 percent increase in first-half earnings on Wednesday and said its chief executive would retire at the end of this year.

Capitec said its diluted headline earnings per share totalled 838 cents in the six months to end-August, from 691 cents a year earlier.

Headline earnings, the main measure of profit in South Africa, exclude certain one-time items.

The bank, which was lifted by loan growth and an expanding customer base, also said Chief Executive Riaan Stassen will retire at the end of December.

Stassen, one of the bank's founders, will be replaced by Gerrie Fourie, now in charge of Capitec's sales and operations.

Stassen will stay on an as a non-executive director after his retirement, the bank said.

Shares of Capitec are up 11 percent this year, roughly in line with the All-Share index. (Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Jon Herskovitz)

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