Mauritius Commercial Bank Under Pressure as Net Falls

Mauritius Commercial Bank, the island nation’s largest lender by market value, said third-quarter profit fell 28 percent on credit impairments, adding the European debt crisis may continue to affect the company.

Net income declined to 1.02 billion rupees ($34.76 million) in the three months through March from 1.41 billion rupees a year earlier, the Port Louis-based lender said in statement e-mailed by Cim Stockbrokers Ltd. today. Net interest income, the money banks earn from charges on loans, grew 12 percent to 1.64 billion rupees, it said. Allowance for credit impairments rose more than threefold to 173.6 million rupees.

“The performance of the group is likely to remain under pressure in the near term,” MCB, as the lender is known, said in the statement, citing weak euro-zone economies, a volatile exchange rate and “sluggish” investment.

For the nine months, net interest income advanced 11 percent to 4.84 billion rupees, it said. Excluding non-recurrent gains, profit for the period reached 3.03 billion rupees, “virtually unchanged” from a year earlier.

The stock has gained 0.6 percent this year to 168 rupees compared with a 4.4 percent decline for the 38-member SEMDEX index, in which the lender has a 24.6 percent weighting.

(Corrects to reflect SEMDEX fell in last paragraph.)
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