Standard Chartered makes good profits from South Asia, Middle East
Standard Chartered PLC has managed to increase its profits in the Middle East and South Asia region sevenfold over the past 10 years. The bank has announced that profit before tax for the first half ending June 30, 2005 was up 20 percent to $1.3 billion, compared with $1.1 billion in H1 2004.

Income during the period grew by 19 per cent to $3.2 billion from $2.7 billion while total assets were up 54 per cent to $203.9 billion from $132.6 billion, a bank statement said.

Both wholesale banking and consumer banking recorded record profits with growth rates of 23 percent and 24 percent, respectively. “Eleven of our geographies now deliver over US$100 million in income,” said Mervyn Davies, Group CEO. “Profits in the Middle East and South Asia region, including the United Arab Emirates, have grown sevenfold over the past 10 years. The momentum in both businesses remains strong, with income and profit growth across almost all our markets.”

Davies said the bank had doubled profits and earnings per share in three years. Commenting on these results, the Chairman of Standard Chartered, Bryan Sanderson, said: “This is a strong set of results. We are making good progress. We are on course to achieve our strategic goals, building on our track record of performance.” So far this year, the bank has made a number of investments, which include the purchase of Thailand’s Financial Institutions Development Fund’s 24.97 per cent shareholding in Standard Chartered Nakornthon Bank.

The bank also acquired a minority stake in Travelex, the world’s largest non-bank foreign exchange specialist, bought an 8.56 per cent minority stake in Asia Commercial Bank in Vietnam, one of the two joint stock banks in the country; and acquired the commercial banking business of American Express Bank Limited in Bangladesh.

Commenting on the bank’s performance in Sri Lanka, Vishnu Mohan, CEO Sri Lanka, said: “We are leading the way in product innovation and value addition to win market share.” The bank has upgraded and developed channels of customer interface including a new ATM at Battaramulla and a service centre at Wattala.

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