INVESTEC’S first-quarter operating income rose 1 percent, or 11 percent on a currency neutral basis, while bad debt losses narrowed 17 percent, the bank reported yesterday. The JSE- and London-listed group said loans and advances were flat at £17.2 billion (R311bn) while third-party assets under management increased 5 percent to £114.9bn in the three months to June. Investec said the sale of some of its Australian business lines to the Bank of Queensland became effective yesterday. The bank was working on a separate sale for its British mortgage business, Kensington. Investec Limited shares fell 0.94 percent to R92.56 on the JSE yesterday. – Reuters