Stanchart's Singapore unit posts marginal dip in 1H profit before tax

A day after Standard Chartered reported a decline in the group's first-half earnings, the Britain-based lender said its Singapore unit is chugging along. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
A day after Standard Chartered reported a decline in the group's first-half earnings, the Britain-based lender said its Singapore unit is chugging along. -- ST FILE PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

A day after Standard Chartered reported a decline in the group's first-half earnings, the Britain-based lender said its Singapore unit is chugging along.

Profit before tax for Stanchart's Singapore unit came in at US$544 million (S$689.8 million) or the six months ended June 30, little changed from the US$546 million in the same period last year, tanchart Singapore said on Wednesday.

This was despite a 16 per cent drop in profit before tax for the bank as a whole, which StanChart had reported on Tuesday. The bank had also said its first-half net profit fell 24 per cent in the period.

StanChart Singapore's overall income for the first half came in at US$1.187 billion, up by 2 per cent year-on-year. It said its core businesses performed well.

On the consumer banking side, income grew by 3 per cent to US$493 million. The wholesale banking business saw its income rise by 2 per cent to US$694 million.

Expenses, however, grew by 4 per cent to US$614 million as StanChart continues the process of setting up a fully-incorporated subsidiary, with investments in technology and in the expansion of facilities.

Mr Ray Ferguson, chief executive officer for the bank's Singapore unit, said "a consistent performance" was delivered in the face of a first half challenged by external factors.

The Singapore government had imposed several rounds of cooling measures in the property market, as well as curbs on car loans. Most recently, the government put in place a Total Debt Servicing Ratio framework, where a bank has to take into account a borrower's total debt obligations before approving a new loan.

But Mr Ferguson expects things to pick up. "We are seeing good momentum in the business, underpinned by strong client activity," he said.