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Anglo-South African Investec H1 profit hit by weak UK banking

Anglo-South African financial services firm Investec, said on Thursday its first-half profit fell 17.2% after a weak performance in UK specialist banking.

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Anglo-South African financial services firm Investec INVP.L, INLJ.J, INLJ.J said on Thursday its first-half profit fell 17.2% after a weak performance in UK specialist banking.

Investec, which will consist of banking and wealth management when it spins off its asset management division, had already warned in September that its profit could fall by up to 18%, putting pressure on its share price.

Headline earnings per share, the main profit measure in South Africa, was 22.7 pence in the six months to Sept. 30, compared with 27.4 pence a year earlier, Investec said.

The bank's adjusted basic earnings per share, which reflect profits made in the course of ordinary operations, were down 4% from 30.1 pence last year to 28.9 pence this year.

Joint CEOs Fani Titi and Hendrik du Toit said in a statement that Investec was pleased that it had managed to grow assets under management, its loan book and customer deposits in a challenging environment.

"We are committed to our stated objective to simplify, focus and grow for the long term, in the interest of all our stakeholders," they said.

Investec said in September that its performance had been hurt by the impact of global trade tensions and Brexit in its key markets, as well as a jump in costs related to the closure and restructuring of some of its businesses.

It said on Thursday these factors pulled down adjusted operating profit in its UK specialist banking division, which also includes operations in the Channel Islands and Ireland, by 18.9%. Profits also fell 10.8% at its wealth and investment division.

In South Africa, however, these rose by 8.5%, with the asset management division, which will be spun off and listed in London next year, showing a 6.3% rise in adjusted operating profit.

Investec's Johannesburg listed shares were down 1.65% by 0728 GMT. The London Stock Exchange was closed at the time of the announcement.

(Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Edmund Blair and Alexander Smith)

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