Investec posts stronger profit

South African bank Investec posted stronger first-half profit – helped by growth in asset management and showing that its move away from plain lending continues to pay off.

The asset manager and investment bank, which is also listed in London, said operating profit totalled £228.15m in the six months to end-September, up 5.6 per cent, compared with £215.9m a year earlier.

The bank said in September it expected a "marginally higher" operating profit, citing sluggish demand for credit and a slow recovery in bad debts.

The bank said the regulatory environment remained challenging, but activity levels were starting to improve.