Standard denies board split on independence
Thursday 26 February 1998
Speaking at a presentation of the bank's annual results, Patrick Gillam, Standard's chairman, said the board was committed to the strategy of independence. "This is the unanimous view of the Standard Chartered board", he said. Malcolm Williamson, the chief executive, added, "And I can confirm that."
Recent reports had suggested Mr Williamson had made merger overtures to Martin Taylor, chief executive of Barclays. In contrast, Mr Gillam was reported to be in favour of independence.
Earlier this week, Standard Chartered issued a statement denying it was in merger talks. This followed weekend press reports that Mr Taylor and Mr Williamson discussed the possibility of a merger over dinner in an exclusive London restaurant.
There is still dispute between sources at the banks, however, about who broached the subject of a merger with whom. Sources at Standard Chartered have categorically denied that Mr Williamson brought up the possibility of a link-up. Sources close to Mr Taylor have suggested that the conversation was "not completely one-sided".
Standard Chartered shares finished the day up 124p at 882p. Analysts said the share price rise was due partly to the better-than-expected results and partly to the continued hope in some parts of the City that Standard Chartered could still forge links with a UK banking rival.
Headline pre-tax profits at the bank were flat at pounds 870m, largely because of sizeable provisions for bad debts in Asia. However, analysts were cheered by the strong underlying profit growth, by hints of future acquisitions in the Middle East and in Asia, and by the bank's apparently prudent approach to the Asian crisis.
The bank made specific provisions for the crisis of pounds 201m in 1997. It also added pounds 100m to its general, unspecified debt provisions.
Tim Sykes, analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston, said: "They understand their market and their business mix is very focused on certain areas, like trade finance and consumer lending."
Peter Wood, finance director, said the bank had only lost money on foreign exchange on one day last year. That was on 2 July, the day when the Thai baht devalued.
Mr Gillam said: "Our 1997 results demonstrate our capacity to produce excellent results when our main markets in Asia are suffering considerable turmoil".
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...