Standard Bank[JSE:SBK] lifted headline earnings 4.6% to R12.7bn in the six months ended June 30 and declared a dividend of R4.30 cents per ordinary share, the interim results released on Thursday showed.
The bank, which operates in 20 African countries, said its partner, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) recorded a R70m loss.
ICBCS's revenue was negatively impacted by lower client flows and margins, it said.
The group's 40% share thereof equated to a loss of R70m. ICBCS will require additional capital to grow its balance sheet and become profitable on a sustainable basis,” the banking group said in a statement.
On the local front, the bank noted the negative impact higher fuel prices and the VAT increase had on consumer spending, adding that a stronger rand during the reporting period had “adversely impacted the group’s results”.
The dividend of R4.30 cents per ordinary share is up from the R4 per ordinary share paid in the first half 2017.
The Africa regions' contribution to banking headline earnings increased to 32% from 29% in the first quarter and the top-five contributors were Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda.
While the local business environment remained challenging, Standard Bank said mortgage lending grew 3%, but new applications were down 4%, in what the bank said was reflective of low activity in the housing market.