Wednesday 30 October 2019 8:07 am

Standard Chartered trumps expectations as profit jumps to $1.2bn

Standard Chartered shrugged off troubles in its embattled Hong Kong market this morning after trumping estimates with a double-digit rise in profit.

Adjusted pre-tax profits climbed 16 per cent year-on-year to $1.2bn (£900m) during the last quarter, surging 17 per cent ahead of the City’s consensus forecasts.

A sharp rise in business from corporate clients helped the lender to turn a profit despite economic turmoil in its core market of Hong Kong, where civil unrest has been mounting since the summer.

Read more: UK banking sector coughs up £40bn in tax

Shares in the Hong Kong-listed firm rose by almost three per cent in afternoon trading.

The banking giant’s common equity tier 1 ration – a key measure of its financial health – was 13.5 per cent, slightly missing expectations of 13.7 pre cent and falling form 14.5 per cent a year ago.

Despite a swathe of headwinds in the banking industry, from slowing growth to lower interest rates, the company said it was sticking to a return on tangible equity (Rote) of 10 per cent by 2021.

Rote in the first nine months of 2019 was 8.6 per cent.

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Shore Capital banking analyst Gary Greenwood said he was “pleasantly surprised by the strength of Standard Chartered’s performance during the period”.

“To outperform expectations on revenue in a difficult operating environment is no mean feat,” he said, adding that “the group also seems to have a strong handle on costs.”

In recent months Standard Chartered’s financial performance in the UK has been overshadowed by one of the largest corporate pay revolts in recent years.

In May over two-fifths of shareholders voted against a remuneration policy that would have given chief executive Bill Winters a pension allowance o £474,000, which was 40 per cent of his cash salary.

Winters sparked a backlash after branding investors that had focussed on his pension allowance “immature and unhelpful”.

Proxy Insight said that the vote was the biggest rebellion against a bank in five years.