Standard Chartered share price rises as investors warm to Winters

 
Jessica Morris
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Winters received a warm welcome despite the challenges that lie ahead (Source: Getty) (Source: Getty)

Shares in Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered were up more than four per cent at 992p in lunchtime trade as new chief exec Bill Winters won over investors.

The figures

This came despite first half results showing adjusted pre-tax profit slumped 44 per cent to $1.82bn (£1.17bn) in the six months to the end of June.

The bank also cut its dividend for the first half of the year to 14.4 cents a share, from 28.8 cents a year earlier.

However, it did manage to increase its tier 1 common capital ratio from 10.7 per cent at the end of last year, to 11.5 per cent at the end of June.

While this should allay concerns the bank will be forced to call on investors to shore up its capital buffer, Winters still said the bank could raise cash in the future if it's needed for the "long-term benefit of the group".

5 August 2015 @ 1:30pmStandard Chartered (STAN)

Why it's interesting

This is the first set of financial results Winters has presented since he joined in June - and they show the scale of the task he faces to turn around the struggling bank's fortunes.

However, the fact the bank's shares surged as much as 6.5 per cent at the open suggests Winters, a former head of JP Morgan's investment bank who is widely admired in the City, is up to the challenge.

Since arriving, he's overhauled StanChart's management structure by introducing a new, 13-strong team to streamline the running of the bank. He's also due to set out a new strategy by the end of this year.

In a shakeup last month, Winters replaced former chief exec Peter Sands, who had lost favour with investors as StanChart suffered falling earnings over the last two years amid an emerging market slowdown and a number of scrapes with regulators.

What StanChart said

Winters said:

Today’s results show the group has some very real challenges, but they are fixable and it is important to remember that there is a strong business at the heart of the group.

The newly announced management team, together with all of our staff, are determined to get the group back on track.

In short

City favourite Bill Winters has won over investors for now but StanChart still faces a global commodity price rout as well as a slowing Chinese economy.

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