Nedbank builds alliances in and outside Africa for deals and trade

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In a statement, Nedbank Chief Executive Officer Mike Brown said the alliance will provide Nedbank with access to new clients and new markets, and will facilitate both parties’ lending, trade finance and transactional banking businesses across Africa.

While focused on Southern Africa, Nedbank has entered strategic partnership with other African banks that will expose it to other African markets.

Nedbank recently announced that it had secured rights to acquire 20 per cent in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) between November 2013 and November 2014. The bank also entered into an agreement to acquire an initial stake of 36.4 per cent of Banco Único of Mozambique with a pathway to control.

The Nedbank Group posted a 13 per cent rise in first-half profit on Tuesday, boosted by strong growth in income from fees.

Diluted headline earnings per share rose to 831 cents in the six months to end-June, up from 738 cents a year earlier. Headline earnings per share, which exclude certain one-time items, is the main guage of profit in South Africa.

Non-interest revenue rose 15 per cent to 9.5 billion rand ($963 million) in the six months to end-June, while net interest income, a measure of earnings from lending, increased 7 per cent to 10.3 billion rand. Impairments, or bad debt costs, increased by 22 per cent to 3.3 billion rand. The bank also declared an interim dividend of 390 cents, up nearly 15 per cent from the previous year.

Nedbank’s rivals Barclays Africa Group, formerly known as Absa, last week posted an 8 percent increase in profit for the first half, while industry leader Standard Bank is scheduled to unveil its performance next week.

“In a tougher economic environment Nedbank Group delivered a solid performance in the first six months of 2013. Strong NIR growth and disciplined expense management resulted in the NIR-to-expense ratio target of over 85 per cent being exceeded for the first time and the return on equity increasing. The group benefited from its portfolio of diverse businesses and strong performances in the wholesale and wealth businesses resulted in overall headline earnings growth of 13.3 per cent,” Brown said in a statement.