Investec hopeful despite slump in full-year profits

SOUTH African specialist bank Investec saw 2009 full-year net profit fall by a quarter to &pound;292m, it said yesterday, but added that it expects impairment to level out.<br /><br />The group, led by chief executive Stephen Koseff, saw impairment losses jump from &pound;114m to &pound;256m in 2009, but managing director Bernard Kantor said he expected bad debts to decline as the South African and UK economies recover.<br /><br />&ldquo;The financial system is going to survive and we are beginning to see things stabilise,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />Private banking saw a 46 per cent profit decline to &pound;104.6m, while investment banking fared even worse, with profits down 61 per cent to &pound;28.2m. Kantor conceded that the two units had endured a &ldquo;tough year&rdquo; but pointed to the group&rsquo;s 4.8 per cent increase in operating profit.