FirstRand Ltd, South Africa’s biggest bank by market value, reported a slight increase in half-year profit on Tuesday as the effects of weak consumption and investment spending in Africa’s most advanced economy weighed.
The company said diluted headline earnings per share (EPS)rose to 185,4 cents in the six months to end December compared with 180,5 cents a year earlier.
Headline EPS, the main profit measure in South African that strips out certain one-off items.
Lending to companies had become the mainstay for banks in South Africa as banks retreated from the high margin but risky business of giving personal unsecured loans.
But a slowing economy, estimated to grow at less than 1% in 2016 due to drought and a collapse in commodity prices, has tempered corporate credit demand, FirstRand said.-Reuters'