Standard Bank Kenya Unit Climbs to Two-Year High on Profit Jump

Standard Bank Group Ltd.’s Kenyan unit rose to the highest level in more than two years after first-half profit surged 81 percent, beating other lenders in East Africa’s biggest economy.

Shares in Nairobi-based CFC Stanbic Holdings Ltd. climbed 3.6 percent to 71.50 shillings by the close in Nairobi, the highest since March 2011. About 149,000 shares were traded, or 20 percent of the three-month daily average.

Net income in the six months through June was 2.2 billion shillings ($25 million) from 1.21 billion shillings a year earlier, the company said today. Equity Bank Ltd., Kenya’s biggest by customers, said profit in the period rose 17 percent, while Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd., the fifth-largest by market value, advanced the same amount.

CFC’s “earnings were way above expectations, I expected about a 52 percent increase,” Davis Mika, an analyst at Nairobi-based Contrarian Investing Kenya Ltd., said by phone. “For the other banks, the earnings have been below expectations.”

CFC’s earnings were boosted by corporate investment banking, income from foreign-currency trading and lower interest on deposits, Mika said. The lender’s shares gained 69 percent this year, outperforming a 30 percent increase in the FTSE NSE 25 Share Index.

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