* To offer new shares at 22 pct discount
* To offer 7 new shares for every 50 held
* First-half profit up 35 pct (Adds background, details)
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 26 (Reuters) - South African mass-market lender Capitec Bank aims to raise $275 million through a rights issue to boost lending and fund growth in its branch network, it said on Wednesday.
Capitec, which also reported a 35 percent surge first-half profit, said in a statement it planned to offer over 14 million new shares at 160 rand each, a discount of over 22 percent on Tuesday's closing price.
The bank said it will offer 7 new shares for every 50 currently held.
"The 2.25 billion rand ($275 million) in proceeds from the rights issue will be utilised to fund growth in the loan book as well as expansion of the branch network by between 50 and 75 branches per year for the next 3 years," it said.
Capitec said its headline earnings per share for the six months to the end-August rose 35 percent to 702 cents, the top end of the range it had flagged to the market.
Capitec's interim dividend also increased by 35 percent to 169 cents.
Shares of the bank are up 16 percent so far this year, compared with a 13 percent increase in the All-share index.
$1 = 8.1665 South African rand Reporting by Ed Stoddard; editing by David Dolan