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Mauritius’s State Bank Gains Most in 4 Months on Profit Gain

State Bank of Mauritius Ltd., the country’s second-biggest lender by market value, headed for the biggest gain in more than four months after saying full-year profit climbed 30 percent.

The stock rose 1.2 percent, the biggest daily gain since May 16, to 83 rupees by the close in Port Louis. That’s the highest since July 4, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

SBM, as the city-based lender is known, said today net income for the year through June rose to 2.62 billion rupees ($86.2 million) from 2.01 billion rupees a year earlier, according to a statement published on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius’s website. Interest income advanced to 5.9 billion rupees from 4.9 billion rupees. The lender announced a dividend payout of 3.50 rupees, 17 percent higher than a year earlier, it said in a separate statement.

“It’s an improvement in core business and efficiency gains,” said Bhavik Desai, a research analyst at Axys Stockbroking Ltd., in a phone interview today. “It’s positive. I’m not sure it can be replicated next year because of the difficult domestic economic environment.”

Mauritius’s $10-billion economy will expand 3.3 percent this year, slower than a 3.8 percent forecast made in March, the Bank of Mauritius said Sept. 24. Central bank Governor Rundheersing Bheenick said yesterday there had been an increase in non-performing loans in the construction and tourism industries.

SBM’s loans and advances to customers rose 9.7 percent to 62.3 billion rupees during the year, according to the statement, whilst cost to income ratio decreased to 34.6 percent from 38.5 percent.

“Further headway is expected with respect to SBM’s geographical diversification strategy” in Africa and Asia in the next 18 months, the lender said.

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