August 13, 2015 / 7:44 AM / 4 years ago

Barclays Kenya's profit rises 5 pct to 6.43 bln shillings

People walk out of a Barclays bank branch inside Barclays Plaza in Nairobi February 19, 2008. Barclays Plc, Britain's third-biggest bank, raised its 2007 writedown on the value of risky assets to 1.6 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) but reported profits broadly in line with analysts' expectations. REUTERS/Noor Khamis (KENYA)

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Barclays Bank of Kenya posted a 5 percent increase in first-half pretax profit and said it was looking to focus on lending to the lucrative small and medium enterprise lending segment.

The bank, which is a unit of Barclays Plc, said its non-interest income rose 12 percent in the period to 4.8 billion shillings, supported by new products such as insurance.

Net interest income rose by 4 percent to 10 billion shillings, the bank said, helping to take its pretax profit to 6.43 billion shillings ($63.35 million).

Chief Executive Jeremy Awori told investors the bank had relaxed its lending requirements for small and medium firms seeking to borrow a maximum of 15 million shillings in order to tap that area, which is a key part of the economy.

Yusuf Omari, the bank’s chief financial officer, said the bank had a core capital ratio of 16.4 percent, well above the regulatory requirement of 10.5 percent, giving it room for more lending.

$1=101.5000 Kenyan shillings

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