S.Africa's FirstRand sees earnings increase from Discovery Card sale

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 22 (Reuters) - FirstRand, one of South Africa’s largest lenders, said on Friday it expects basic earnings per share for the first half of its financial year to increase between 22 percent and 24 percent.

The increase will largely be due to a windfall of around 2.3 billion rand ($164.12 million) from the purchase of a credit card book by insurer Discovery, a joint venture between the two firms.

FirstRand said the funds from the transaction would not be included in its headline earnings per share - the key profit measure in South Africa - nor its normalised earnings, due to its one-off nature. ($1 = 14.0144 rand) (Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)