Bloomberg News

Standard Chartered Posts ‘High Single-Digit’ Revenue Growth

November 02, 2011

(Updates with analyst’s comment in third paragraph.)

Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Standard Chartered Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest bank by market value, said revenue for the first nine months grew by a “high single-digit” percentage.

Operating profit before tax grew at a “double-digit” rate, the London-based company said today in a regulatory statement, without providing specific figures. The lender reported a further slowdown in India, and said performance in Hong Kong and Singapore was “strong.”

Standard Chartered, which earns most of its profit in Asia, said in August it plans to hire 1,000 people this year even as its U.K. competitors announce job cuts. HSBC Holdings Plc in August said it would eliminate 30,000 positions by the end of 2013, while Barclays Plc said this week that it has cut 3,500 employees in 2011 as investment-banking revenue slows.

“It shows a remarkable level of resilience for Standard Chartered,” John Wadle, head of banking research at Mirae Asset Securities (HK) Ltd., said by telephone today. “Despite huge market turmoil, their business is very diversified and to continue to see revenue growth is a huge achievement.”

Barclays this week reported third-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates as earnings at the U.K. consumer bank more than doubled and investment-banking revenue declined by less than European peers.

Standard Chartered doesn’t have “direct sovereign exposure” to Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece or Spain and such exposure to Europe is “immaterial,” the lender said.

Expenses, Hiring

Expenses were “well controlled” during the quarter while the bank hired more people, it said.

Standard Chartered in August forecast an eighth successive year of record profit. The bank’s first-half net income climbed 19 percent to $2.57 billion from a year earlier, beating analyst estimates, according to a statement on Aug. 3.

The lender would deliver “double-digit” revenue growth this year, while costs will be “tightly managed,” moving in line with revenue, Sands said in August.

Unlike the other top five British banks, Standard Chartered doesn’t provide detailed earnings numbers for the third quarter.

The bank earns more than three quarters of its profit from corporate banking, led by Michael Rees, and less than a quarter from its consumer unit. Standard Chartered last year gained more than $1 billion in pretax profit from both India and Hong Kong, its largest markets.

The shares have declined 17 percent this year to 1,438.5 pence in London trading, valuing the company at 34.2 billion pounds ($55 billion) and making it the second-largest British bank after HSBC. The 46-member Bloomberg Europe Banks and Financial Services index has dropped 32 percent in the period.

Sands succeeded Mervyn Davies in November 2006, and is the longest-serving CEO among Britain’s five largest banks.

--Editors: Nathaniel Espino, Chitra Somayaji

To contact the reporters on this story: Stephanie Tong in Hong Kong at stong17@bloomberg.net; Gavin Finch in London at gfinch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net; Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net


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