CAPE TOWN – Investec's performance for the year to March 31 would be supported by growth in assets under management and substantial net inflows, good loan book growth and a much better performance from the UK specialist banking business, a statement said.

The group held a pre-close briefing on Friday to focus on developments in the core business areas for the year. Final results were expected on May 16.

A demerger and separate listing of Investec Asset Management was announced six months ago, and strategic priorities were identified for the bank and wealth businesses, and the asset management business.

Group operating profit was expected to be ahead of last year, in spite of a challenging environment - global equity markets fell sharply last year before recovering and economic growth was weak in the two core banking markets, South Africa and the UK.

The bank and wealth business was expected to report results ahead of the prior year, while the asset management business was likely to report results slightly below the prior year.

Asset management earnings were hit by lower performance fees in South Africa and higher costs in the UK.

Assets under management had increased by 5.2 percent from March 31 last year.

Group revenue was expected to be in line with the prior year, while the credit loss charge was expected to be significantly less. Modest cost growth was expected.

Investec shares closed 0.42 percent lower at R90.42 on the JSE on Friday.