Slower growth in emerging Asian markets

Standard Chartered profit plunges 24%

GMT 14:22 2013 Tuesday ,06 August

Arab Today, arab today Standard Chartered profit plunges 24%

Two women inside a Standard Chartered bank branch in Hong Kong
London - Arab Today

Two women inside a Standard Chartered bank branch in Hong Kong Standard Chartered said Tuesday its first-half net profit fell 24 percent, with some of its businesses in emerging Asian markets seeing slower growth .
The London-based but Asia-focused bank said net profit fell to US$2.13 billion for the six months to June 30, from $2.81 billion in the same period last year.
Operating income rose four percent to reach $9.75 billion from $9.37 billion in the previous year.
The bank, which focuses partly on emerging markets, was hit by a weak performance in South Korea with revenue falling five percent in the first half.
It posted a goodwill impairment of $1 billion in Korea, representing a lower value of assets in the country.
Performance was also affected by weak numbers in Singapore where profits fell 12 percent, but the bank saw improvements in its African market where profits were up 10 percent.
"This year markets like Hong Kong, India and Africa delivered impressive growth, whilst Korea, Singapore and Other Asia-Pacific faltered," group chief executive Peter Sands said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Sands said the group was unlikely to see double-digit revenue growth this year due to uncertainty and "growing turbulence" in the global economy.
The company will not strive for financial growth by increasing bad debts, chairman John Peace said of its projected single-digit growth for the year.
Growth will not be "at the expense of increased risks or higher levels of bad debt. It's a sensible balance that we strike across our portfolio," Peace told a press conference in Hong Kong.
The bank also saw loan impairment increase by $155 million to $730 million for the reported time period, an increase of 27 percent.
"The external environment will remain challenging for the foreseeable future," Peace said, adding the bank was in the right markets and has the right strategy in place to deliver growth.
Shares in global banking giant HSBC slumped nearly five percent in Hong Kong Tuesday a day after it announced a 22 percent rise in half-year net profits, falling short of analysts' expectations.

Source: AFP

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