Standard Chartered delivers record first-half profit

1 Aug 2012 | News - Comment now

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Standard Chartered delivers record first-half profit

For the tenth successive year, emerging-markets specialist Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) has posted a record first-half profit.
During the first six months of the year, the bank’s profit before taxation topped $3.9 billion (£2.5 billion), an increase of 9 per cent from the same period in 2011.
While other banks worry about their balance sheets, Standard Chartered fretted that its results were ‘boring’.
Peter Sands, the bank’s group chief executive, considered the results ‘testament to the resilience of the bank's business model’ and its ‘focus on Asia, Africa and the Middle East’.
As the bank’s rivals retreat and retrench in domestic markets, Standard Chartered has plans to create up to 1,500 new jobs and boost investment spending by $100 million (£64 million) in the second half of the year.
The investment will be concentrated in emerging markets, with the bank due to open its 100th branches in both India and China by the end of 2012.
The share price of Standard Chartered, which sponsors Liverpool Football Club, bounced up over 4.5 per cent on the results, to £15.30.
Sands expressed caution about the effect of slow US and European growth on emerging markets, though.
He noted that ‘Asia is not immune to the woes of Europe and the fragility of economic recovery in the US. The West is some two-thirds of the global economy and if it slows no one is unscathed.’
Sands was nonetheless ‘reasonably confident’ about the economic outlook, pointing to the ‘underlying structural drivers of growth’ in Asia.
He cited ‘urbanisation, demographics, industrialisation and the growth of intra-regional trade and investment’ as providing the impetus.
He also pointed to the ‘room for manoeuvre’ policy makers have in emerging markets, meaning fiscal stimulus and interest-rate cuts, tools their counterparts in the developed world have exhausted.

Related topics: Asia, Banks, Economy, Peter Sands, Standard Chartered

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