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Strong first half for StanChart; income from India biz slips

Vidya Ram
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Peter Sands StanChart Group CEO
Peter Sands StanChart Group CEO

Standard Chartered saw its income in India drop in the first half, while in all other geographies it witnessed a growth in revenues. Group profits before tax for the six months ending June reached $3.9 billion (Rs 21,600 crore), a 9 per cent gain over the same period the year before, led by a number of geographies, including Hong Kong and Singapore, and its wholesale banking business.

The bank said despite the economic uncertainty globally it remained on course to deliver its target of double-digit revenue growth for the year.

Operating profits before tax in India fell by 18 per cent to $311 million (Rs 1,726 crore) in the first six months, with consumer banking operating income down 6 per cent, and wholesale banking income down 13 per cent.

“In India we had a decline in income in the first half that was entirely due to rupee depreciation,” said Group Chief Executive Peter Sands. On a constant currency basis income for the region rose 2 per cent.

Sands said that while the environment in India remained “pretty challenging” there were positive signs, including the 20 per cent growth in Indian offshore business. “The challenges facing India as an economy still remain, but we are seeing encouraging signs in the business and we’re continuing to invest.”

It has 94 branches across India and hopes to take the total in the country up to 100 by the end of next year.

Standard Chartered shares rose in morning trade in London. Standard Chartered reported “solid” results with underlying revenues of 11 per cent “ahead of expectations”, said analysts at JP Morgan. “We believe that the group remains well positioned to benefit from growth opportunities in its markets.”

“Standard Chartered has been focusing on boosting business from Western companies doing business in Asia and had big success in the first half of 2012,” said Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

(This article was published on August 1, 2012)
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