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Equity Bank’s first half pretax profit jumps to Sh12.10 billion

By Reuters | August 4th 2015

NAIROBI, KENYA: Equity Bank posted a 12 percent rise in pretax profit to Sh12.10 billion in the first half of this year, its chief executive James Mwangi said on Tuesday.

Mwangi, head of the lender which has the highest number of depositors in the region, said the rise was driven by growth in net interest income and "non-funded" income including commissions and gains from foreign exchange trading.

The latter category jumped by 30 percent to 10.81 billion shillings, Mwangi told investors.

Total operating costs surged 22 percent to 14.22 billion shillings due to investments in its mobile banking infrastructure. The service, known as Equitel, was launched formally last month and has more than 1 million users.

Equity also operates in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan. It is entering the Democratic Republic of Congo through an acquisition.

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