Standard Bank, Africa's biggest bank by assets, posted a 9 percent rise in first-half profit on Thursday, helped by a jump in its core lending business, but cautioned about lean times ahead.
Standard Bank, which is 20 percent owned by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, reported diluted headline earnings of 458.2 cents per share in the six months to end-June, up from 421.3 cents a year earlier, according to Reuters.
Headline earnings, the main gauge of profit in South Africa, exclude certain one-time items.
South African banks are struggling to boost earnings in an environment of slower borrowing and high costs.
Rival Absa announced a 6 percent decline in first-half earnings last month while No. 4 lender Nedbank said profit rose 24 percent in the same period.
Net interest income, a measure of earnings from lending, came in at 15.69 billion rand, compared with a restated 13.32 billion a year earlier. Credit impairment charges, or bad debts costs, shot up 35 percent to 3.9 billion rand.
Shares of Standard Bank are up nearly 18 percent so far this year, compared with Johannesburg's Top-40 index that is 10 percent higher.