RMB Holdings, which owns 34% of FirstRand and a property portfolio worth about R1bn, said on Thursday normalised earnings in the six months ended December 2018 grew 7% to R4.4bn despite “significant turbulence” in the macroeconomic environment. The group, which is the 16th-largest constituent of the JSE’s top-40 index and is headed by Herman Bosman, raised its dividend 6% to 178c a share. FirstRand reported on Tuesday that its normalised earnings in the six months to end-December 2018 rose 7% to R13.3bn, thanks largely to gains from FNB. Its portfolio also houses Rand Merchant Bank and WesBank. RMB Holdings said on Thursday its property business increased its net intrinsic value from R722m to R971m during the period, and contributed normalised profit of R15m, from a loss of R15m a year before. The group said 2019 would be “another challenging year for the South African economy”. “Headwinds include a slowing global economy, Eskom — and other state-owned entities — challenges, adverse...

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