Corporate bad debts to rise, says FirstRand

South Africa's FirstRand expects corporate bad debts to peak by July and said business volumes would stay subdued as many consumers remain heavily in debt.

The banking group, which yesterday reported a two per cent drop in diluted headline earnings per share to 85.3 cents for the six months to end-December, said it did not expect significant defaults in its second half since retail bad debts had peaked.

"We think the non-performing loans and bad debts in the corporate and commercial space are going to peak from around the middle of the year, around June/July," FirstRand Chief Executive Officer Sizwe Nxasana, who took over from one of FirstRand's founding members Paul Harris in December, said yesterday.


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