Standard Chartered’s third-quarter profit more than triple on trade, markets operations and wealth management push

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The exterior of a Standard Chartered bank branch in Hong Kong. Photo: Bloomberg

Standard Chartered, one of Hong Kong’s three currency-issuing banks, said its profit more than tripled in the third quarter as it benefited from double-digit gains in its financial markets and trade businesses and lower provisions for potential soured loans.

The London-based lender, which generates much of its revenue in Asia, said its credit impairments declined by 70 per cent to US$108 million, reflecting similar trend reported by its banking rivals during the quarter. Standard Chartered took provisions of US$2.3 billion for all of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic weighed on economic activity.

“We delivered a return to top-line growth in the third quarter and achieved further progress against our strategic priorities, with strong performance in our financial markets and trade businesses and ongoing positive momentum in wealth management,” CEO Bill Winters said in a statement.

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The emerging-markets-focused bank’s pre-tax profit was US$996 million, beating a consensus estimate of US$942 million, and an improvement over the US$435 million it reported a year earlier. On a net basis, earnings rose to US$644 million versus US$161 million a year ago.

Shares of Standard Chartered were little changed at HK$52.75 in Tuesday’s trading before the report card.

The bank’s earnings announcement came just days after it said it would deploy US$300 billion for green and transition financing by the end of this decade and simultaneously seek to cut emissions associated with its lending to carbon-intensive sectors as part of its efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

HSBC reported last week that its third-quarter profit more than doubled as the city’s biggest banking group released US$659 million for reserves for soured loans. It also announced a plan to buy back up to US$2 billion in shares.

More to come …

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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

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