Kenya's Equity Bank says H1 2014 pretax profit up 21 pct

NAIROBI, July 30 Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:41am EDT

NAIROBI, July 30 (Reuters) - Kenya's Equity Bank posted on Wednesday a 21 percent rise in pretax profit to 10.82 billion shillings ($123.38 million) in first half of 2014, driven by growth in its loan book.

Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi told a briefing that loans advanced to customers grew 24 percent to 186.5 billion shillings, while net interest income rose 6 percent to 14.02 billion shillings. ($1 = 87.7000 Kenyan Shillings) (Reporting by George Obulutsa; editing by DRazen Jorgic)