JOHANNESBURG, May 22 (Reuters) - South African investmentbank and asset manager Investec (LSE: INVP.L - news) posted a 5.3 percentrise in full-year profit on Thursday, broadly as expected, aftermanaging to stave off bad credit charges.
Investec, which is also listed in London, said itsadjusted earnings came in at 38 pence per share from 36.1 pencea year ago. It had forecast earnings would rise by as much as 7percent for the year to end-March.
Impairments, or bad debt charges, contracted to 166.2million pounds - a 34 percent drop - while lending declined bynearly 7 percent to 17.2 billion pounds.
The lender said it would pay out 19 pence per share individends, higher than the 18.09 pence analysts polled byReuters had forecast.
Investec, which has been trying to offload struggling unitsin Australia and Britain, said last month that Bank ofQueensland would buy the professional finance andleasing arm of its Australian outfit for A$440 million.
Kensington, a UK-based mortgage supplier to home buyers withpoor credit history, had also received expressions of interest,it said.
"We have made significant strides to reshape and simplifythe group to focus on our core businesses with the restructuringand sale of part of our Australian businesses," chief executiveStephen Koseff said.
Investec shares are up more than 21 percent so far thisyear, climbing faster than the 7.6 percent rise byJohannesburg's Top (Taiwan OTC: 8419.TWO - news) -40 index. (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Ed Cropley)
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