Investec trips up after South African currency slides lower

Michael Bow
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FINANCE outfit Investec yesterday delivered a disappointing performance update after a weak currency and hesitant customers undercut expected earnings.

The company, which is dual-listed in South Africa and the UK, said half-year profits measured by earnings per share could fall by up to 10 per cent thanks to a slide in the rand and sterling exchange rate. Shares fell more than 3.5 per cent in London.

While its asset management and wealth and investment businesses are managing to stay the course, its specialist bank unit is falling behind, according to the group.

It said: “The UK specialist banking business has been impacted by low levels of activity and the Australian business has been impacted by significant strategic restructuring.”

The rand has fallen 16 per cent against the pound since the end of March, hurting Investec’s activities.

“Whilst the group feels more positive about the trend and news flow it remains cautiously optimistic given the ‘stop start’ nature of the recovery,” it said.