JOHANNESBURG, March 6 Standard Bank,
Africa's largest bank by assets, reported a better-than-expected
14 percent rise in full-year earnings on Thursday after booking
strong income from lending.
Standard Bank said headline earnings per share totalled
1,064.9 cents for the period ended in December, from 935 cents
last year. Headline EPS, the benchmark profit measure in South
Africa, excludes certain one-time items.
Analysts had penciled in a 10 percent increase in earnings
Net interest income, a measure of earnings from lending,
increased by 15 percent to 39 billion rand ($3.64 billion).
Credit impairments, or bad debt charges, rose 5 percent to 9.2
Banks in Africa's largest economy have struggled as high
unemployment and household debt levels have blunted demand for
loans and hurt corporate spending.
Non-interest income, which includes revenue from arranging
deals and advisory services, went up 6 percent 34.3 billion
Standard Bank, 20 percent owned by Industrial and Commercial
Bank of China (ICBC), is positioning itself as a
full-service gateway to Africa, where it has operations in 18
($1 = 10.7042 South African rand)
(Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Ed Stoddard)