Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) is looking to drive returns by boosting lending to key industrial sectors and top clients, Reuters has revealed. The move could see the Asia-focused bank cut about a dozen investment banking jobs as it dials back in areas such as private equity.
Standard Chartered’s share price has tumbled in today’s session, having given up 3.84 percent to 780.40p, underperforming the broader market selloff, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 2.14 percent in the red at 7,177.81 points. The group’s shares have lost nearly three percent of their value over the past year, as compared with a 0.2-percent rise in the Footsie.
StanChart to trim coverage
People with knowledge of the matter told Reuters today that StanChart was set to boost lending to key industrial sectors and top clients, in a move which could cut about a dozen investment banking jobs. Some of those jobs will likely be redeployed in other parts of its main corporate banking unit that StanChart is trying to strengthen, given its aim to increase lending to top companies in its main markets of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Another source further told the newswire that while StanChart was expanding into “consumer-led industries” including pharmaceuticals and healthcare, and building on its client base of oil and gas as well as metals and mining, it would be selective in sectors such as technology and telecommunications, which are more heavily dominated by US investment banks.
Analysts on Asia-focused bank
Deutsche Bank reiterated its ‘hold’ stance on StanChart today, valuing the shares at 653p, while Berenberg lifted its rating on the lender to ‘buy,’ hiking its price target on the stock from 700p to 920p. According to MarketBeat, StanChart currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 783p. The FTSE 100 group is scheduled to post its full-year results on February 27.