Standard Chartered gets 97% demand for US$5.1 billion share sale

LONDON (Bloomberg) - Standard Chartered raised about US$5.1 billion after 96.8 per cent of the bank's shareholders exercised their rights in a share sale on Friday, signaling confidence in chief executive officer Bill Winters's strategy to turn around the Asia-focused lender.

The shares will be listed in Hong Kong and the first trading day is expected to be Dec 16, the London-based bank said in a statement on Friday. 

Winters, 54, announced the rights issue in November as part of a plan to restore profitability at a bank reeling from losses tied to bad loans after commodity prices slumped and economies from China to India cooled.

The CEO is also cutting 15,000 jobs to help save US$2.9 billion by 2018, scrapped a second-half dividend and unveiled plans to restructure or exit US$100 billion of risky assets.

The 705 million new shares include those bought by Temasek Holdings, Standard Chartered's largest shareholder, according to the statement.

The Singaporean state-owned investment firm intended to take up rights for 15.8 per cent of the company's existing share capital, the bank said last month.

Standard Chartered's stock in Hong Kong sank 0.8 per cent as of the trading break on Friday.

The lender's London-listed shares fell 1.3 per cent on Thursday, taking their drop this year to about 44 per cent.

The bank previously raised capital in 2008 and 2010 to help fund its expansion under former CEO Peter Sands.

This year's rights issue was fully underwritten by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America.