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NAIROBI, May 30 (Reuters) - Barclays Bank of Kenya reported a 6 percent rise in first-quarter pretax profit to 3.1 billion shillings ($36.49 million) on Thursday as a reduction in operating expenses outweighed a small decline in interest income.
The bank, majority owned by British lender Barclays , said in a statement on Thursday that its interest income fell to 5.14 billion shillings from 5.18 billion shillings.
It said its operating costs fell by 82 million shillings. Net loans and advances to customers rose by 8 percent to 108.21 billion shillings.
Confidence in east Africa's biggest economy has risen since the country held a peaceful presidential poll in March, and lower interest rates in the market are expected to boost bank loan books this year. ($1 = 84.9500 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by George Obulutsa; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)