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Thursday, May 3, 2012

StanChart's India biz subdued amid overall positive growth

There appears to be no let-up yet for Standard Chartered's India business, as the company said in an otherwise optimistic trading update on Wednesday that the market there remained subdued.

While Standard Chartered experienced double-digit income growth in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, the Americas and in Europe in the first quarter of the year, its business in India remained impacted by “subdued domestic sentiment”. While there was no deterioration in the Indian market, income for the quarter was flat year on year, a spokesperson said.

Third largest

In February, Standard Chartered's Indian operations reported a pre-tax profit of $804 million for the full year 2011, a 33 per cent drop against the same period the year before, as income fell by 11 per cent and loan impairment rose by 42 per cent.

From being the largest contributor to Standard Chartered group profits India dropped to being the third largest. Despite the weakness, the group says its commitment to India remains unchanged.

“We see its long-term outlook as positive” said the spokesperson. “We will continue to invest in India”.

Overall, the group said it experienced “high single-digit income growth” in the first quarter, with growth occurring both in its wholesale banking and consumer banking divisions.

However, group performance was impacted by the strength of the dollar against Asian currencies. Shares of Standard Chartered were down 3.8 per cent in London on Wednesday afternoon


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