In South Africa Nedbank H1 profit growth slows as Ecobank weighs

Nedbank, a unit of Old Mutual, said diluted headlineearnings per share (EPS) increased 1.6 percent to 1,119 cents.

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Nedbank

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South Africa's No.4 lender Nedbank Group reported a sharp slowdown in half-year profit growth on Monday, weighed down by losses at its struggling pan-African associate Ecobank and weak consumption spending at home.

* Nedbank, a unit of Old Mutual, said diluted headlineearnings per share (EPS) increased 1.6 percent to 1,119 cents --excluding Ecobank Transnational Inc, diluted headline EPS grew19.7 percent. 

* Nedbank's headline EPS, South Africa's main measure ofprofit, grew more than 14 percent a year earlier.  Nedbank owns about 18 percent of Ecobank, whose operations in more than 30 African countries gives it a significant role in financing African economies. 

* But Africa's growth prospects were dealt a blow inmid-2014 when prices of oil and other commodities -- export mainstays of many economies -- dived, partly due to a slowdown in leading consumer China.  Nedbank's interim dividend per share rose 6.1 percent to570 cents.  Net asset value per share rose by 9.7 pct.

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