Earnings up for Africa's largest lender

Aug 15, 2013, 12:07 PM EDT
A security guard stands in front of an electronic screen displaying the logo Standard Chartered at a branch of the bank in Hong Kong on March 5, 2013
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Standard Bank Group, Africa's largest lender, reported an 11% rise in first-half earnings on Thursday as strong loan growth helped offset a spike in bad debt charges. South African banks are battling sustained low interest rates, anemic economic growth and a competitive lending market, and have been posting higher credit impairment for the first half as borrowers in Africa's largest economy struggle under enormous debt.