Barclays Africa H1 earnings up 10 pct

JOHANNESBURG, July 30 Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:28am EDT

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JOHANNESBURG, July 30 (Reuters) - Barclays Africa Group's posted an expected 10 percent rise in first-half headline earnings on Wednesday boosted by its Africa operations.

The pan-African lender, majority owned by the eponymous British bank, said headline earnings per share came in at 720.9 cents in the six months to end June, compared with a restated 655.7 cents a year ago.

Barclays said net interest income - the measure of income from lending - grew 10 percent to 17.197 billion rand ($1.62 billion) as the bank passed on higher interest rates.

Credit impairments fell 7 percent after a push to rein in bad loans, which spiked in 2013 for most South African banks following a spate of unbridled unsecured lending. ($1 = 10.6020 South African Rand) (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Xola Potelwa)