UPDATE 2-EFG International says BSI deal on track, shares surge
* EFG first-half net profit down 54 pct to 22.3 mln Sfr
* Consensus forecast was 19 mln Sfr in Rtrs poll
* Shares up more than 20 pct (Recasts, adds comments from CEO, analyst, shares)
By Joshua Franklin
ZURICH, July 27 (Reuters) - Swiss private bank EFG International is on track to complete its takeover of embattled wealth manager BSI in the fourth quarter, after reporting a smaller than expected drop in first-half profit, sending its shares up more than 20 percent.
BSI's links to a scandal-hit Malaysian government fund had led to uncertainty about EFG's plans to buy the wealth manager from Grupo BTG Pactual SA, originally announced in February.
"We had the feeling that the market thought there are culture and financing (issues)," Chief Executive Joachim Straehle told Reuters on Wednesday. "After today's presentation, you clearly can see that we want to remove these worries," he said, referring to the bank's results and comments on the BSI deal.
EFG's BSI purchase aims to put it among Switzerland's five biggest wealth managers and help it to compete with much larger rivals UBS and Credit Suisse.
EFG shares were up 22.5 percent by 1141 GMT to put the stock on track for its best day in four years. Continuación...