Standard Chartered brushes off China fears after strong quarter

City A.M. Reporter
STANDARD Chartered brushed off fears that a slowdown in China’s economy would hit the Asia-focused lender hard and said it would meet analysts’ expectations for the full-year following an improved second-quarter.

The bank, which makes about four-fifths of its earnings in Asia and the Middle East, said it was on track to meet forecasts for full-year operating profit of about $8bn (£5.2bn) but would miss its usual target of 10 per cent profit and revenue growth.

Standard Chartered’s finance chief Richard Meddings said yesterday that actions being taken by the government in China were appropriate and its interventions in the inter-bank lending market would not materially affect the bank’s ability to borrow there.

“We think these are very good reforms that are being introduced. I think what it points to is perhaps slower growth but on a more sustainable level,” Meddings told reporters on a conference call.

Standard Chartered, which has been one of the most consistent performers during the financial crisis, said revenue for the first six months of 2013 was expected to rise by about five per cent following an acceleration in the second quarter.