Zimbabwe's banking group CBZ says H1 earnings, profit down

HARARE Thu Aug 7, 2014 10:57am EDT

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HARARE Aug 7 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's largest banking group CBZ Holdings on Thursday reported a 27 percent fall in earnings in the half-year to June after reducing the value of some assets and due to a one-off expense to upgrade its technology systems.

CBZ said basic earnings per share amounted to 4.13 cents, down from 5.64 cents in the previous six-month period, while profit declined 20 percent to $12.8 million.

Non-performing loans grew to $67 million, compared to $45 million in December, but finance director Collin Chimutsa said at an analyst briefing that the advances were secured.

Zimbabwe's banks are struggling with higher non-performing loans, which averaged 17 percent during the first five months of the year, prompting the central bank to consider establishing a body to take over bad debts.

Chimutsa said CBZ non-performing loans averaged 6 percent during the first half of the year and did not see them growing to more than 8 percent of total advances by the end of the year.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said last month up to five banks were "ill" but not contagious. (Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Editing by Joe Brock)

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