Transaction Capital reported double-digit growth in interim headline earnings as the weak economy yielded opportunities to buy distressed debtors’ books, while demand for finance from minibus taxi operators supported robust loan growth. For the six months to March, the financial services group grew earnings 21% to R254m. Transaction Capital Risk Services grew core earnings 33% to R93m. It bought 13 debtors’ books for R210m in the period — the same number of books it had bought for the year to September 2016. A difficult consumer environment made it more difficult for banks and retailers to collect on nonperforming loans, said group CEO David Hurwitz. Transaction Capital bought these books, which were often already heavily provided for or written off, for less than 10c in the rand, Hurwitz said.