Nedbank Group expects a better year for lending growth at its corporate and investment banking unit after a surge in trading and commission income helped the division shrug off a sluggish South African economy. The business is “well positioned to start the year with a stronger advances pipeline,” Johannesburg-based Nedbank said in a presentation on its website. An improvement in the second half of 2018 helped contain a decline in annual lending growth at the division to 1 percent, which was further offset by a 19% jump in non-interest revenue. “The market did want to see something going right,” said Mergence Investment Managers equity analyst Nolwandle Mthombeni. “That really was good strong growth in terms of their earnings and that was largely unexpected. The market will be pleased with that increased activity in the CIB business.” The improvement comes even after defaults in the construction and cement sectors increased, resulting in some debt being rescheduled under different te...

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