Standard Chartered to expand non banking operations

City A.M. Reporter
Standard Chartered will focus on organic growth and aims to expand non-banking operations in South Korea, its chief executive said.

"You will see us doing more securities-based (work) using the holding company platform... In Korea as everywhere else, the primary focus of our strategy is organic growth," Peter Sands told reporters in Seoul.

The London-based bank earns about four-fifths of its profits in Asia, and South Korea is its third-biggest market by assets.

StanChart raised $5.3bn (£3.3bn) through a rights offering as it seeks to boost capital ahead of tougher global rules.

Sands cautioned a potential impact of a new global regulation standard on the financing of SME business as the bank is now turning to the small and medium sized business sector from private and priority banking operations, which it hopes to double in the next three years.

"Financing SMEs is quite challenging but Basel III is just making it more so," he said.

Sands said the $5.3bn rights issue was to fund its growth in Asia, Africa and Middle East, but ruled out any possibility of acquisitions, including South Africa's Nedbank, which its UK rival HSBC ended acquisition talks.

Sands said he was optimistic about business conditions for next year but noted plenty of risks including a turbulent economy.

"There are risks arising from the persistence of very big imbalances in the world and also... from the monetary stimulus packages that have been used. I don't think it will be smooth," he said.