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Standard Chartered profit rebound lifts shares as CEO flags progress

Standard Chartered profit rebound lifts shares as CEO flags progress

LONDON: Standard Chartered posted stronger-than-expected first quarter results and said restructuring costs were in line with its plans, lifting its shares by 10 percent on Tuesday.

Chief Executive Bill Winters said the results, including a bumper statutory profit that was more than double the previous quarter, reflected “good progress on our strategic objectives.”

Investors responded positively to the emerging markets-focused bank’s pretax profit of $589 million, against a loss of $4.05 billion in the final quarter of 2015, driving the bank’s shares up 10.2 percent to 573.5 pence by 0905 GMT.

The positive result marks a welcome rebound for Standard Chartered shareholders after the bank reported its first full-year annual loss in 26 years in 2015, hit by hefty restructuring costs and weak commodity prices.

Standard Chartered is the first of the major UK-based banks to report first quarter earnings, with investors braced for one of the worst collective set of results since the financial crisis.

The London-based bank said its first quarter income was down 24 percent to $3.3 billion on the first quarter of 2015, but it was broadly stable compared to the fourth quarter last year.

Its Common Equity Tier 1 ratio had risen 50 bps to 13.1 per cent since the end of the year-end, benefitting from a reduction in risk-weighted assets (RWA), rising profits and a gain on foreign currency moves, it added.

Total operating expenses were down 10 per cent year-on-year to $2.2 billion and the bank said it remained on budget with a sweeping restructuring plan across its Asian, African and European business.

Former JPMorgan investment banker Winters announced plans to axe 15,000 jobs and raised $5.1 billion in capital in November in a bid to cut costs and bolster reserves.

“We remain confident in the estimated total cost of our planned restructuring…of around $3 billion to be incurred before the end of 2016,” the bank said in a statement.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

Courtesy : BRecorder



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