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StanChart Singapore H1 operating profit falls 5%

StanChart says its earnings and income were affected by muted global trade sentiment, regulatory changes and weak commodity prices.

SINGAPORE: Banking group Standard Chartered (StanChart) Singapore has reported lower operating profit before tax in the first half of this year, compared to a year ago. For the six months ended June 30, StanChart's operating profit before tax fell 5 per cent to US$455 million from a year ago. This came on the back of lower income which fell 8 per cent on-year to US$1.03 billion in the same period.

In a statement on Wednesday (Aug 6), StanChart says its earnings and income were affected by muted global trade sentiment, regulatory changes, weak commodity prices and a 54 per cent decrease in Own Account Income. This refers to the bank's trading income which has been affected by the challenging conditions in the financial markets.

Still, StanChart adds that its fundamentals remain robust and is backed by a strong balance sheet. The bank's combined balance sheets in Singapore are in excess of US$100 billion.

StanChart also reported that its client income increased by 1 per cent year-on-year, and contributes to more than 90 percent of its total income in Singapore. Meanwhile, customer loans rose 11 percent and deposits went up 5 percent.

Mr Neeraj Swaroop, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore, said in a statement that the operating environment in Singapore has been "challenging." He cited factors such as the property cooling measures, enhancements to credit rules, and the recent Personal Data Protection Act as having a combined impact on lending and sales.

Looking ahead, StanChart says it plans to leverage further its capabilities and leadership in the renminbi market to gain market share and deposits.