JOHANNESBURG, July 30 (Reuters) - South African investment bank and asset
manager Investec said on Friday first-quarter net operating income rose by 11 percent, as strength in its UK business offset weakness in South Africa.
South Africa's fifth-largest bank, which is also listed in London, said in a trading statement that it was bolstered by 'particularly strong results' at its British asset management and capital markets divisions.
The bank, which has been looking to cut its reliance on lending by bulking up its asset management business, gave few details on performance in the quarterly update.
Attributable earnings, or net profit before goodwill and non-operating items, rose by 2 percent in the April-June quarter compared with a year earlier.
It did not give quarterly figures for either net operating income or attributable earnings.
The bank said bad debts remain at 'elevated levels'.
Banks in Africa's largest economy have been hit as consumer demand and corporate earnings remain weak, even after the country exited a recession last year.
Absa, the South African bank majority owned by Britian's Barclays, said on Thursday it expects first-half profit to fall by as much as 5 percent, hit by slack demand for loans.
Investec is also targeting rising investor interest in fast-growing Africa.
The bank's asset management arm has said it aims to triple its assets under management in Africa outside of South Africa over the next five years.
Shares of Investec have risen 14.6 percent so far this year, outperforming a 1.6 percent gain in Johannesburg's Top-40 index .
(Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by xx) (For more Africa cover visit: http://af.reuters.com -- To comment on this story email: SouthAfrica.Newsroom@reuters.com) Keywords: INVESTEC/
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