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KAMPALA, March 28 (Reuters) - Stanbic Bank Uganda's 2016 pretax profit rose 24.9 percent, helped by business diversification that spurred a increase in non-interest revenue, the east African nation's largest lender by assets said on Wednesday.
The bank, part of South Africa's Standard Bank and listed on the Uganda Stock Exchange, said pre-tax profit rose to 253.9 billion Ugandan shillings ($70.33 million) in 2016, up from 203.3 billion the previous year.
The bank said a diversified business model had helped them absorb economic shocks and underpin growth.
"This is the major reason why our revenues and earnings have grown," the bank said in results published in local media adding that non-performing loans in the industry caused by weak economic activity. Uganda's banking sector non-performing loans stood at 10.5 percent in December, up from 7.7 percent in September, according to central bank data.
The results showed the bank's income from trading in foreign exchange, government debt and other trading activities climbed 28 percent last year from 2015.
A dividend of 1.172 shillings has been recommended for the year, the bank said. ($1 = 3,610.0000 Ugandan shillings) (Reporting by Elias Biryabarema, editing by Clement Uwiringiyimana and Louise Heavens)