Profits up at SocGen and StanChart

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The Independent Online

Standard Chartered and France's Société Générale joined the list of banks posting better than expected results yesterday, although both warned that the outlook remained uncertain.

StanChart, which earns much of its profit in Asia and has been protected to some extent from the turmoil suffered by some other British banks, reported an 11 per cent rise in first-half net profits to $2.1bn. The bank said improvements in the global economy helped it to cut losses on bad loans by more than half. "With confidence febrile, and markets nervous, I would say we are over the worst, but we are not out of the woods," its chief executive, Peter Sands, said. "Our markets – Asia, Africa and the Middle East – are bouncing back. But to sustain that momentum they need the West to grow too."

SocGen also warned that the economic recovery was still fragile, with moderate growth prospects in Europe, after it said second-quarter net profits leapt almost fourfold to €1.08bn, up from €309m a year ago.