March 12, 2015 / 6:47 AM / 2 years ago

REFILE-Kenya's Diamond Trust Bank 2014 pretax profit up 18 pct on strong loan book

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NAIROBI, March 12 (Reuters) - Kenya's Diamond Trust Bank Group said on Thursday its pretax profit jumped 18 percent in 2014 to 8.5 billion Kenyan shillings ($92.74 million), helped by strong growth in its loan book.

The mid-tier bank, which also operates in Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi, said loans climbed 24 percent to 137.6 billion shillings, while net interest income increased 16.2 percent to 12.8 billion shillings.

Other Kenyan banks including the largest lender by depositors, Equity Bank, and the biggest by assets, KCB, have also posted profit increases of just under 20 percent, boosted by strong economic growth in Kenya and the wider east Africa region.

Diamond Bank said earnings per share rose to 21.92 shillings from 20.97 shillings, and recommended a dividend of 2.40 shillings a share, up from 2.10 in 2013. ($1 = 91.6500 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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