Nedbank expects SA economy to shrink 7% in 2020

KARL GERNETZKY

Banking group Nedbank said on Friday it expects SA’s economy to contract 7% in 2020, with the group saying it expects profits to fall more than a fifth in its first half as it moves to help clients manage cash flow during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic is weighing on SA’s economic outlook and the creditworthiness of the banking group’s customers.

By the end of April, the group had restructured loans worth R81bn to help clients better manage cash flows, it said on Friday, while 225,000 clients had been assisted with debt relief, out of a total credit-active client base of about 2.5-million.

This was across the group’s range, including home loans, vehicle and asset finance, personal loans, loans to small and medium enterprises, and credit cards.

Total group loans stood at R764.2bn at the end of December.

Headline earnings per share, a widely used profit measure that strips out one-off items, is expected to fall more than 20% in the six months to end June from the prior period’s R14.35, the group said.

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