Kenya's Equity Bank says Q1 profit rises 21 pct

NAIROBI, April 17 Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:01am EDT

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NAIROBI, April 17 (Reuters) - Equity Bank of Kenya posted a 21 percent rise in first quarter pretax profit to 5.4 billion shillings ($62.14 million), lifted by growth in its loan book, the bank said on Thursday.

The bank's net loans and advances to customers rose 28 percent to 179.3 billion shillings, Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi told an investor briefing in Nairobi.

($1 = 86.9000 Kenyan Shillings) (Reporting by George Obulutsa; Editing by James Macharia)

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