Standard Chartered pays out
Thursday 10 August 1995
Shares in Standard Chartered climbed sharply yesterday as the bank, which is especially strong in Asia, reported powerful first- half earnings and a big dividend increase. The shares closed up 27p at 387p on the strength of a 35 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to pounds 319m. The interim dividend was increased by 44 per cent to 3.25p.
Analysts were yesterday raising their earnings estimates for the full year to around pounds 650m. "These are excellent results. The dividend is astonishing. Standard Chartered is probably the most attractive banking franchise you can find at the moment," said Richard Coleman, analyst at Smith New Court.
Some of the improvement came from lower bad-debt provisions of pounds 30m against pounds 69m in the first half of 1994. But Malcolm Williamson, chief executive, stressed that this reflected in part a concerted effort to improve the quality of its loans.
The bank is making a big push in retail operations in South-east Asia, from where 68 per cent of pre-provision earnings came last year, yet Standard Chartered continued to hold costs flat in the first half. The bank said it will have taken pounds 200m out of the cost base by the end of 1995 compared to two years ago through staff reductions and reorganisation. Staff levels, 30,000 a year ago, are to be cut to 25,000 by the end of 1996.
Patrick Gillam, chairman, said Standard Chartered was a different bank from two years ago, with its UK and US operations focused on feeding and enhancing the main trading and corporate activities in Asia, the Gulf and Africa.
Mr Williamson said: "Asia has enormous retail potential, strong economies, very high savings rates, and generally weak banking competition."
Mr Gillam dismissed concerns over the bank's big role in Hong Kong. It was avoiding lending to the volatile commercial property sector and was cautiously expanding its mortgage lending to people who will find it difficult to leave once the colony reverts to China in 1997. The bank is still looking to sell its loss-making Hong Kong broking operation.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Taiwan plane crash: Typhoon Matmo could have caused TransAsia Airways disaster, airline suspects
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £25K: SThree: SThree Group has been well estab...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...