S.Africa's FirstRand sees H1 earnings up at least 20 pct

JOHANNESBURG Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:38am EST

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JOHANNESBURG Feb 25 (Reuters) - FirstRand, Africa's second-largest banking group by market value, sees earnings from first-half operations jumping by at least 20 percent when it reports results on March 4.

FirstRand said on Tuesday headline earnings per share for the six months to end-December likely rose by 20 to 22 percent from the 131.7 cents it posted a year earlier.

Smaller competitors Barclays Africa Group and Nedbank Group reported this month annual earnings increases of 14 and 15 percent respectively.

Unlike its main rivals, FirstRand's financial calendar ends in June, instead of December.

Its shares were up more than 1.6 percent at 0913 GMT, but down 3.5 percent so far this year. (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; editing by David Dolan)

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