Standard Chartered to close its global equity business, over 200 jobs in Asia affected: sources

Standard Chartered last year said it would target more than US$400 million in cost cuts as it seeks to reverse a decline in its profit growth. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Standard Chartered last year said it would target more than US$400 million in cost cuts as it seeks to reverse a decline in its profit growth. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Standard Chartered is closing its global cash equities and equities underwriting businesses, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday, exiting a division that had struggled for profitability since the bank re-entered the segment in 2010.

The bank will dismantle its stock broking, equity research, and equity listing desks worldwide, the sources said.

The London-based company will keep its convertible bonds and equity derivatives businesses, a source told Bloomberg News.

The closures will affect more than 200 people in Asia, another person told Bloomberg. It said Piers Townsend, a spokesman for the bank in Singapore, declined to comment.

Standard Chartered last year said it would target more than US$400 million in cost cuts as it seeks to reverse a decline in its profit growth that has put pressure on its longstanding chief executive Peter Sands.

The bank posted a 16 per cent drop in third-quarter pretax profit to US$1.53 billion from a year earlier as impairments for bad loans almost doubled and regulatory and compliance costs increased.

Separately, Standard Chartered will this quarter reduce its headcount in Malaysia by 11 per cent, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg News.