GARETH HUNT | INVESTEC
While the first half has come in ahead of expectations, we do not expect full year consensus to move... While the headline cost performance was strong, it was flattered by one-offs, particularly in the “other Asia Pacific” reporting segment, which benefited from $86m of cost recoveries... As ever with Standard Chartered, the issue is valuation.
FRANK BRADEN | S&P EQUITY RESEARCH
Cost containment was better than expected and the bank reported higher income growth than cost growth, even if an accrual for the UK bank levy were included. We expect the bank to maintain its strong revenue growth, but forecast costs to slowly creep up again due to investments in growth and wage inflation. However... we recommend a buy.
JONATHAN JACKSON | KILLIK & CO
With its geographic exposure, Standard Chartered is very well positioned to benefit from opportunities in high-growth emerging markets. With the current valuation of 12.8 times 2011 earnings and 11.4 times 2012 earnings, it is at a significant premium to the other UK-listed banks, and appears fairly valued. We continue to prefer HSBC, which has similar emerging markets exposure, but trades at a 25 per cent discount to StanChart.