November 13, 2019 / 2:01 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Kenya's KCB Group's nine-month profit rises 6%

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NAIROBI, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Kenya’s biggest bank by assets KCB Group reported on Wednesday a 6% increase in net profit for the first nine months of this year to 19.2 billion shillings ($187.59 million.

KCB, which also operates in Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan, attributed its profit growth to a 10% increase in its total income as lending on its digital platform surged.

Its lending via mobile phones, which are offered on Safaricom’s M-Pesa platform typically for one month, increased more than three times during the period to 98 billion shillings, boosting non-interest income, the group said.

It released its results after the market close.

Shares of Kenyan banks have attracted renewed interest from foreign investors after the government removed a three-year old cap on commercial lending rates last week.

KCB said it also cut operating expenses, its cost to income ratio as well as its funding costs in January-September.

KCB said it expects its acquisition of National Bank of Kenya, which closed in October, to strengthen its position in the domestic market.

$1 = 102.3500 Kenyan shillings Reporting by Duncan Miriri and Omar Mohammed Editing by Susan Fenton

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