Standard Chartered income beats expectations

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The Independent Online

Shares in Standard Chartered, the emerging markets-focused London bank, rose yesterday after a trading statement which was considerably better than investors had feared.

Although the bank said its full-year income is likely to grow by only high single-digit percentages rather than its more recent double-digit growth, it said the second quarter had seen a sizeable improvement over the first.

Richard Meddings, the finance director, said: "The pick-up in business which we saw after a slow March continued throughout the quarter. We saw very strong momentum across a wide range of geographies and products."

He said that Korea had remained a difficult area for the group, with another big increase in bad debt writedowns, largely as a result of government measures there. He said that Standard Chartered would look at the goodwill of its Korean business with a view to a possible substantial writedown. But he added: "Our franchise in Korea is a fundamental and core part of the group."

Standard Chartered said that it was comfortable with current City forecasts for trading profits of just over $8bn (£5bn) this year.

Peter Sands, chief executive, said: "This is a good performance against a backdrop of ongoing turbulence in the global economy, with the second quarter showing an acceleration over the first quarter of 2013 and over the comparable period last year. Growth has remained resilient across our footprint markets of Asia, Africa and the Middle East."

The shares rose 20.5p to 1,430.5p.