Growth slow as StanChart is hit by weak dollar

City A.M. Reporter
STANDARD Chartered said yesterday it expects pre-tax profit in the first half of this year to grow by less than 10 per cent, slowing from previous years as growth in Asia eases and local currencies weaken against the dollar.

Income growth in January to June was also expected to slow to below 10 per cent, it said in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse.

“Local currency weakness is expected to drag group income by over two per cent, with the Indian rupee being the major contributor,” Standard Chartered said in the statement.

Standard Chartered conducts most of its business in local currencies but reports its earnings in dollars. As such, weakening Asian currencies would mean it needed more Indian rupees or Singapore dollars to get the same amount of US currency.

Staff numbers are largely flat at the end of May from the end of 2011, Standard Chartered said. The bank employed about 85,000 people at the end of last year, it said in March.

The filing did not provide any exact numbers as Standard Chartered only issues half-year and full-year earnings reports. Profits in India, once the bank’s biggest market, continued to be weak, while growth in the Asian financial hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong also slowed.