Nedbank first half profits rise

NEDBANK Group, South Africa’s fourth-largest bank, reported a 26 per cent rise in first-half profit yesterday, helped by a drop in bad debts and its push to boost revenue from fees.

Nedbank, majority owned by insurer Old Mutual, was hit hard by bad debts after 2009’s recession took over 1m jobs out of the economy, squeezed corporate earnings and left borrowers with ballooning household debts.

It has turned its focus to increasing the money it makes on transactions, to offset the slack demand for credit.