British multinational banking and financial services company Standard Chartered’s Middle East and Africa operating income increased by more than 400 percent in the first half, reaching a five-year record amid a “significant” reduction in loan loss provisions.
Mr. Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa, and the Middle East commented that “I’m extremely proud of our best first-half performance in over five years! This is the result of all the hard work the team has put in over the years and the execution of some tough decisions we made to drive efficiencies and reduce risk”.
The London-based bank’s operating profit for the first six months ended in June climbed to $476 million, up from $91 million at the end of the same period in 2020, it said.
Meanwhile, half-year net income remained steady, while impairment charges reduced to $40 million from $370 million a year earlier at the end of June 2021.
The bank’s strongest area was Asia, where earnings jumped 75 percent to $1.01 billion, helping it to overcome weakness in Europe and the Americas, where operating profit decreased 5 percent to $337 million.
Mr. Bill Winters, CEO of the firm stated that “We have had fantastic results in Hong Kong and China. The Chinese economy is going gangbusters,” while adding that the bank has the option to make acquisitions in its core markets or announce additional buybacks and dividend increases.
Furthermore, Mr. Kaushal added that “This has happened during a period when the backdrop while improving remains uncertain and challenging and is a true testament to the resilience of our underlying business. We have remained focused on clients and people and have made very good progress on our priorities”.