Shares in troubled bank Standard Chartered were up six per cent this morning, despite reporting a sharp drop in pre-tax profits.
Investor optimism was clearly high, as outgoing boss Peter Sands, who, it was revealed last week, will be replaced by Bill Winters, announced he and the rest of the board will forego their bonuses.
Pre-tax profits excluding exceptional items were $4.24bn (£2.76bn), down 30 per cent on 2013.
Underlying pre-tax profits at the troubled bank slid 25 per cent to $5.2bn for the year, hit by loan impairments around its commodity-exposed business.
The Asia-focused group is planning to cut costs and shrink its loan books as it attempts to stave off concerns over its balance sheet. It is aiming to save $1.8bn from 2015 to 2017 and cut between $25bn and $30bn in risk-weighted assets from its balance sheet.
Why it's interesting
Standard Chartered – or more specifically, Winters - has its work cut out to turn the business around after a period of under performance.
He will undertake a strategic review when he joins in June in a bid to build profits.
In a statement the bank said it was premature to call the peak on bad debts, but said it had seen no sign of deterioration this year.
Investors seemed to take the slump in profits in their stride, with the bank's share price bobbing around six per cent in mid-morning trading.
What Standard Chartered said
Sands said 2014 was "a perfect storm" of falling commodity prices, persistent low interest rates and negative sentiment towards emerging markets.
[Our] 2014 performance was disappointing, impacted by a challenging market environment and by the significant programme of restructuring and repositioning actions taken during the year.We faced a perfect storm: negative sentiment towards emerging markets, a sharp drop in commodity prices, persistent low interest rates and surplus liquidity, low volatility, and a welter of regulatory challenges.
Winters can't start soon enough – and investors seem happy to back him for the time being.