StanChart gears up in Asia on back of record ten years
Standard Chartered is stepping up hiring and investment to take advantage of rivals retreating from its core Asian markets, after a strong first six months set it up for a tenth straight year of record profits.
The London-based bank plans to add 1,000 to 1,500 jobs and increase investment spending by about $100 million (£64m) in the second half of 2012, its finance director Richard Meddings said yesterday.
The group has ridden on Asia’s rise through the last decade, allowing it to continue hiring and posting earnings growth when much of the industry was shrinking.
StanChart said its pre-tax profit in the six months to the end of June was $3.95 billion, up 9 per cent from a restated $3.64bn a year ago.
Chief executive Peter Sands said recession and problems in western economies had slowed growth in Asia, but he was confident expansion in the region would continue, albeit with “some bumps in the road”.
He added: “We have had a strong July but are watchful of the significant and growing challenges in the external world, and are managing risk tightly.”
The bank, which began life financing trade between Europe and Asia and Africa, is picking up trade finance business as European rivals shrink or pull back closer to home.
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