StanChart Kenya pretax profit falls in f

June 09 [Sun], 2013, 16:19
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya posted a 16 percent drop in pretax profit for the first quarter to 2.73 billion shillings, it said on Tuesday.

The bank, controlled by Standard Chartered Plc, said total operating expenses increased by about 400 million shillings, driven by higher staff costs and loan-loss provisions.

Basic earnings per share fell to 6.06 shillings from 7.79 shillings a year ago, the bank said, adding that the outlook for the rest of the year was positive.

"We remain confident in the outlook for the business as we expect ... momentum to pick (up) pace, especially as the uncertainties around the elections are now behind us," Chief Executive Richard Etemesi said in a statement.

Optimism about east Africa's biggest economy has risen since the country held a peaceful presidential poll in March, in contrast with the violence-riddled poll of five years ago when more than 1,200 people died.

Standard Chartered Bank of Kenya's net interest income edged up 2 percent to 3.7 billion shillings, while non-interest income fell 9 percent to 1.7 billion shillings, due to the absence of last year's income from the sale of government securities.