Standard Chartered profit tumbles

Standard Chartered logo Image copyright AFP

Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered has reported a 44% drop in half-year profits.

Pre-tax profits fell to $1.82bn (£1.17bn) in the first half of the year as "adverse loan impairment trends continued to impact performance".

Revenue for the first half of 2015 was $8.5bn, down 8% from the previous year.

The UK-listed bank halved its dividend to 14.4 cents per share, and did not rule out the possibility of raising more money from investors.

As well as declining revenue, higher charges for bad loans hit its profits, the bank said.

Hit by slowing growth in emerging markets, the bank hired former JP Morgan banker Bill Winters as chief executive, replacing former chief Peter Sands in June.

Financial strength

Mr Winters used his first results presentation in charge to outline some of his plans for the bank. He said he would simplify Standard Chartered with a "new management team and simpler organisational structure".

The bank has already exited some businesses in Hong Kong, China and Korea, booking a gain of $219m dollars and improving its capital position.

The bank hired Mark Smith from Asia-focused rival HSBC to join as new chief risk officer.

The dividend cut will help the bank strengthen its capital base - a safety net protecting it from unexpected financial knocks.

The lender's core tier-1 measure of high-quality capital compared with assets rose to 11.5%, hitting its target six months early.

Even so, Mr Winters would not rule out raising more if needed.

"If we decide we need capital for the long-term benefit of the group, we will raise capital," he said.

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