StanChart swings back to profit, shares rise 4 per cent

Cost-cutting measures helped Standard Chartered swing back into the black in the first half of 2016.
Cost-cutting measures helped Standard Chartered swing back into the black in the first half of 2016.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

LONDON (REUTERS) - Standard Chartered reported an underlying pre-tax profit of US$994 million (S$1.33 billion) in the six months to end-June, as cost-cutting measures saw the lender swing back into the black after a billion dollar loss in the second half of 2015.

Profits for the first half were down from US$1.8 billion a year ago, amid growing economic uncertainty worldwide. The Asia-focused bank reported a 13 per cent fall in expenses over the same period, as a tightened grip on costs under chief executive Bill Winters took effect.

Echoing an earlier statement by HSBC, Standard Chartered said it would defer its goal to reach a tangible return on equity of 8 per cent by 2018, citing slowing global growth and lower interest rates.

The bank said its core capital ratio remained flat at 13.1 per cent.

StanChart's shares rose 4.1 per cent in London to 611 pence by 0918 GMT (5.18pm Singapore time) following the results announcement.