Standard Chartered shrugs off reports of Asia expansion halt

Lack of business in the Far East has resulted in the company halting plans for expansion

Shares in Standard Chartered fell just 0.5 per cent today as investors shrugged off a report that it is losing further business in its core Asian markets.

Standard Chartered issued a surprise profit warning in its regular trading update last month and today’s report in the Financial Times claimed it has called a halt to “grand expansion” plans as it tries to conserve capital.

The emerging markets bank headquartered in London declined to comment on the report which revived the idea that troubles at the bank are causing investors to question the position of chief executive Peter Sands and chairman Sir John Peace.

The bank has lost several senior executives including finance director Richard Meddings and head of financial markets Lenny Fedder this year.

The shares fell 6p to 1210p, still above the 1182.5p they hit immediately after the profit alert.

Berenberg bank analyst James Chappell said: “As we have long argued, growth-led strategies at banks unwind negatively for shareholders and this is what is happening at Standard Chartered.

“We believe the focus needs to switch to returns in the business to deliver for shareholders as Standard Chartered has become too big.”

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