FirstRand of South Africa Says First-Half Profit Will Rise at Least 20%

FirstRand Ltd., South Africa’s second-biggest financial-services company, said first-half profit will increase by at least 20 percent.

“This is due to the significant gain arising from the unbundling of Momentum,” the Johannesburg-based lender said in a statement today.

FirstRand merged its insurance unit, Momentum Group Ltd., with Metropolitan Holdings Ltd. earlier this year to create the third-biggest listed insurer in South Africa, after Sanlam Ltd. and Old Mutual Plc. Metropolitan subsequently changed its name to MMI Holdings Ltd. and the merged entity has a market value of 25.2 billion rand ($3.7 billion).

FirstRand gained 36 cents, or 1.8 percent, to 20.80 rand in Johannesburg trading, its biggest one-day gain since Nov. 12.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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