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Standard Chartered first-half profit beats estimates, sets new $1 billion share buyback


A sign above the entrance to the headquarters of Standard Chartered Plc in London, U.K., on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022.

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Standard Chartered reported on Friday first-half pretax profit rose 20% and announced a new $1 billion share buyback, as rising rates and record financial markets business propelled margins at the emerging markets-focused lender.

StanChart, which earns most of its revenue in Asia, said statutory pretax profit for the first six months of this year reached $3.32 billion. That compared with $2.77 billion a year earlier and the $3.18 billion average of 16 analyst estimates compiled by the bank.

The bank upgraded its guidance for income growth in 2023 to a 12%-14% range from 10% previously.

“We are mindful of the external macroeconomic headwinds and recent challenges in the banking sector; however, our balance sheet is robust, and we have the right strategy, business model and ambition to deliver our targets,” CEO Bill Winters said in a statement.

The bank said income growth outpaced increases in costs, despite inflation pushing up the latter, driving a 3 percentage point improvement to its cost-income ratio to 61% for the first half.

London-headquartered StanChart’s transaction banking income shot up by 92% to $2.86 billion, with cash management income up 166%, benefiting from a favorable interest rate environment.

Its financial markets business delivered a record $2.8 billion in income in the first half, a 4% increase from an already strong period a year ago on the back of energy price swings.


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