Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB) said on Tuesday first- quarter pretax profit climbed 11.3 percent year-on-year to 1.28 billion rupees on the back of loan book growth and said it would pay an interim dividend of 2.60 rupees per share.

Ranked the biggest bank by capitalisation in east Africa and the Indian Ocean region, MCB said it expected its six-month results to be "slightly up" on those of 2010, though uncertainty in global markets would impact its operations.

Loans and advances to customers for the period ended September 30 grew by more than 15 percent to 125.8 billion rupees and earnings per share rose to 4.47 rupees from 3.98.

Net interest income increased 12 percent to 1.57 billion rupees on the back of higher-than-expected growth in the bank's loan portfolio, boosted by international trade finance activity, the bank said.

Shares in MCB closed flat at 170 rupees before the results were released.