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Land Bank lifts profit to R396.2m despite drought

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Johannesburg - South Africa's state-run Land Bank, a key lender to farmers, reported a 27% increase in annual profits to R396.2m ($27m) on Tuesday, despite the country's severe drought.

"The structure of our loan book is made up of a very diversified portfolio of counterparties, diversified across regions and across commodities," chief executive Tshokolo Petrus Nchocho told Reuters.

Total loans given by the bank increased by 3.2% in the face of the drought that cut the 2016 maize harvest by close to a third and has reduced the national cattle herd by around 15%.

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