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IS STANDARD CHARTERED REALLY AS ROBUST AS IT APPEARS?

<strong>SANDY CHEN </strong>PANMURE GORDON<br />&ldquo;We would have been happier if these results and the dividend hike had not been accompanied by the share placement; the combination begs questions about what management is trying to signal. We interpret this as a sign of management&rsquo;s confidence, in both macro prospects and the emerging markets business model.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>NIC CLARKE </strong>CHARLES STANLEY<br />&ldquo;Standard Chartered has produced robust results over an extended period. It is our favoured bank in the UK and has been the best performer over the last two years. Its low risk customer-focused model has meant it has fared better than many of its competitors and its advances to deposit ratio of 78.4% is reassuring.&rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>RICHARD HUNTER </strong>HARGREAVES LANSDOWN<br />&ldquo;If there is one cloud, it is that ironically Standard may have become a victim of its own success. The shares have risen 10 per cent over the last year, as against a 12 per cent drop in the wider FTSE100, giving rise to some valuation concerns. On the whole, though, the strength of the bank's trading cannot be disputed.&rdquo;