Standard Chartered PLC exceeded forecasts with a 3 per cent increase in its first-half profit, but flagged trade tensions and a monetary policy easing cycle as potential risks for the London-headquartered lender, said Reuters.
Pre-tax profit for StanChart, which focuses on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, rose to US$2.41 billion (S$3.3 billion) in the January-June period from US$2.35 billion in the same period last year, it said in a stock exchange filing.
The latest profit compared with the US$2.23 billion average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Standard Chartered.
Hong Kong, which accounts for a bulk of StanChart revenue, yesterday cut its base rate by 25 basis points to 2.5 per cent, its first cut since late 2008, in line with the US Federal Reserve's move.
StanChart has been making steady progress in its turnaround strategy, and in a sign of confidence about its prospects of growing revenues, the bank in April unveiled plans for an up-to-US$1 billion share buyback, its first such in at least 20 years.
German industrial conglomerate Siemens reported yesterday falling profits in its third quarter across most of its sprawling operations as manufacturers worldwide suffered, but said it could still reach full-year targets.
Net profit fell 6 per cent year on year between April and June, to €1.1 billion (S$1.65 billion), reportedAgence France-Presse.
But revenues at Siemens, which makes products from wind turbines to trains and medical scanners, edged up 2 per cent to €21.3 billion when adjusted for effects of restructuring and exchange rates. "As indicated already quite some time ago, geopolitics and geoeconomics are harming an otherwise positive investment sentiment," chief executive Joe Kaeser said.
But he added that a third-quarter bright spot, rail manufacturing, as well as "stringent project execution" would help Siemens stay on track for the end of its financial year in September.
Across the group's divisions, its "digital industries" unit, which offers factory automation equipment and software, saw operating profit tumble 27 per cent.
Meanwhile, the operating result at its power and gas unit, which makes turbines for gas-fired power stations, fell by 37 per cent.
In June, the Munich-based group announced that job cuts at the division would mount to more than 8,000 over the coming years "to reduce costs and adjust to the declining numbers of major projects".