Standard Chartered H1 profit surges on strong business momentum

Issac John /Dubai Filed on August 3, 2021
The bank's operating profit jumped to $476 million from $91 million. — Reuters

The bank also announced an additional share buy-back programme together with the resumption of the interim dividend payment.

Standard Chartered Bank in Africa and Middle East region reported on Tuesday a 37 per cent year-on-year surge in profit before tax, saying it was “the best ever first-half performance in over five years.”

The profit growth was helped by improved loan impairments, strong underlying business momentum and good progress across the bank’s strategic priorities, the bank said in a statement.

The bank also announced an additional share buy-back programme together with the resumption of the interim dividend payment.

While the income remained flat y-o-y and one per cent higher on a constant currency basis despite being impacted by rate cuts and currency devaluation, underlying income was up 8.0 per cent reflecting growth in wealth management income and healthy pipeline conversions.

Operating profit jumped to $476 million from $91 million during the same period last year; driven by significantly reduced credit impairments, wealth growth, productivity actions and a strong pipeline; partly offset by flow-through impact of rate cuts, the statement said.

Sunil Kaushal, regional CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Africa and Middle East, said the performance is the result of all the hard work the team has put over the years and the execution of some tough decisions the bank made to drive efficiencies and reduce risk.

“This has happened during a period when the backdrop while improving remains uncertain and challenging and is a true testament to the resilience of our underlying business. We have remained focused on clients and people and have made very good progress on our priorities,” said Kaushal.

On the recent expansion into Saudi Arabia, he said the bank would leverage its presence in the kingdom to promote trade, investment and capital flows in support of the Saudi Vision 2030.

“The digital banking platforms we have launched across nine key African Markets - Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria – have transformed the way we do business and connect with our clients. The pandemic, rather than becoming a stumbling block, has accelerated our growth by increasing our customer base by over half a million, which is 50 per cent higher than our legacy base,” said Kaushal.



Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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