x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Standard Chartered mideast bad loans surge

Standard Chartered saw bad loans in its Middle East and South Asia wholesale banking unit grow by US$313 million in the first half of 2009.

Standard Chartered saw bad loans in its Middle East and South Asia wholesale banking unit grow by US$313 million (Dh1.15 billion) in the first half of 2009, compared to the same period a year earlier, the bank reported today. Impaired loans, or loans that the bank does not expect to be paid back fully, rose from only $4m in the first half of 2008 to $317m in the first half of this year, the Asia-focused bank said.

In the same period, bad loans in the bank's consumer business increased by 88 per cent to $143m. Standard Chartered's experience is similar to that of other global banks that have been forced to write off loan losses as they feel the pain of the financial crisis. Local banks have so far reported about $1.3bn in provisioning for bad loans for the first half of the year. "Wholesale banking took significant provisions relating to certain local corporates in the region," said Standard Chartered .

The bank's first-half profits for the Middle East and South Asia region, excluding South Korea, were down 43 percent year-on-year, it said. Globally, the bank achieved a 10 per cent rise in first-half profit to $1.88bn, compared with $1.79bn a year earlier, beating analyst expectations. tarnold@thenational.ae