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JOHANNESBURG - Banking group Standard Bank said on Tuesday the slight improvement in business and consumer confidence in South Africa had not yet translated into stronger asset growth.

In a financial disclosure for the three months ended March 31, 2018 to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Standard Bank said the positive momentum in the retail customer franchise in Africa regions continued.

ICBC has a 20.1 percent stake in Standard Bank, which on a quarterly basis discloses to the Chinese bank sufficient information to enable it to account the group’s results.

Standard Bank said good growth in non-interest revenue, underpinned by higher trading revenues, was partially offset by slow net interest income growth, on the back of slow asset growth and declining interest rates. 

A relatively benign credit environment continued to provide support to banking earnings.

Earnings from banking activities and other banking interests grew period on period, but group earnings were dampened by the strength of the rand against the U.S. dollar and Argentine peso and weakness in key African currencies during the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

- African News Agency