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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Standard Chartered earnings rocket but still fall short

Pretax profit jumped to $2.41 billion in its latest financial year, up from $409 million in 2016, but below the $2.7bn average of 10 analysts' estimates

Standard Chartered expects UAE economic growth to accelerate in 2018. Bobby Yip / Reuters
Standard Chartered expects UAE economic growth to accelerate in 2018. Bobby Yip / Reuters

Standard Chartered's pretax profit rose six-fold in 2017, slightly below estimates, as it made its way back towards higher revenues after two years of restructuring and dealing with bad loans in some of its main markets.

Pretax profit at the emerging markets-focused bank jumped to $2.41 billion in its latest financial year, up from $409 million in 2016, but below the $2.7bn average of 10 analysts' estimates, according to Reuters data.

Operating income, closely watched by investors who want StanChart to deliver profit from core business growth rather than lower provisions for bad loans, was up nearly 3 per cent to $14.43bn, according to the bank's statement on Tuesday.

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The bank said its board recommended resuming a dividend on the back of the improving financial performance and strong capital. It proposed a full year dividend of 11 cents per ordinary share.

After coming through the financial crisis relatively unscathed, StanChart ran into trouble when global commodity prices crashed and bad debts started to rise on its books following over-exuberant lending.

Investors are now hoping it can return to revenue growth again after a two-year restructuring under chief executive Bill Winters, who has cut more than 15,000 jobs and axed business lines such as Asian equities.