HONG KONG (AFP) – Standard Chartered reported Tuesday a sharp fall in pre-tax profits in the third quarter and issued a profit warning, while saying it would “remain watchful in India, in China”.
The Asia-focused British bank said pre-tax profit fell 16 per cent to $1.53 billion from $1.83 billion a year earlier in a report to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Pre-tax profit for January-September came in at $4.8 billion, compared with $5.9 billion at the same point last year.
The news hit the bank’s shares, which tumbled 5.5 per cent to HK$131.30, against a broader market rally.
The bank is struggling to overcome structural issues including a bloated investment arm, increased competition in Asia and troubles turning around its South Korean unit.
In a statement attached to the earnings report, chief executive Peter Sands said the bank would target $400 million in “productivity improvements” next year.
“Whilst some of these actions will impact near term performance, they are crucial to getting us back to a trajectory of sustainable, profitable growth,” he said.
The bank’s report said: “We remain watchful in India, in China and of commodity exposures more broadly, where we have continued to tighten our underwriting criteria and reduce our exposures.”