Investec FY earnings seen rising up to 7 pct higher

Reuters - UK Focus

(Adds background)

JOHANNESBURG, March 20 (Reuters) - South African investment bank and asset manager Investec (LSE: INVP.L - news) said on Thursday its full-year earnings would rise as much as 7 percent after it cut its bad debt charges.

Investec, which is also listed in London, said its struggling Australia arm had dampened an improved performance in Africa and Britain.

The bank's pound-denominated adjusted earnings per share likely grew by between 0-7 percent in the year to end-March. Rand earnings are seen 22-27 percent higher.

Impairments, or bad debt charges, are seen falling by 35 percent, the bank said.

Lending in the first 11 months also declined 10 percent to 16.6 billion pounds, while third party assets under management decreased by 3 percent.

Investec shares were up 1.2 percent at 79.66 rand in Johannesburg at 1100GMT, bringing gains so far this year to nearly 7 percent. (Reporting by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura; Editing by Ed Stoddard)