Namibia's FNB and Bank Windhoek post stronger H1 profit growth

WINDHOEK Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:20am EST

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WINDHOEK Feb 14 (Reuters) - Namibia's leading banks FNB Namibia and Bank Windhoek on Friday posted a jump in profit for the first half, boosted by stronger revenue from both loans and banking charges.

Market leader FNB, a unit of South Africa's FirstRand , said earnings per share rose 20 percent to 145.7 Namibian cents after advances grew by a similar margin.

Bank Windhoek, Namibia's second-biggest lender by market value, said headline earnings per share rose 22.7 percent after a jump in income from charges such as fees and commissions.

Bank Windhoek, which was the target of a takeover bid by Barclays Africa in 2013, declared an interim dividend of 23 Namibian cents, 26 percent higher than the previous year.

FNB boosted its dividend by nearly 20 percent to 55 cents.

Its shares are up nearly 2 percent this year, while those of Bank Windhoek, which listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange in 2013, have gained 1.6 percent.

Namibia is one of the world's biggest producers of diamonds and a major source of uranium. The finance ministry expects the mining and the construction sector to boost the economy to overall growth of 5 percent in 2014 from an estimated 4.8 percent last year. (Reporting by Servaas van den Bosch; Editing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura and Jon Boyle)

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