Shares in Standard Chartered (LON:STAN) have fallen into the red in today’s session even as the Asia-focused lender revealed that its profits had climbed in the first half of its financial year. The company further announced an interim payout to shareholders and reaffirmed its medium-term return on equity (RoE) target.
As of 09:32 BST, Standard Chartered share price had given up 3.36 percent to 673.40p. The group’s shares are underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.12 percent higher at 7,709.74 points.
StanChart posts interim update
Standard Chartered announced in a statement this morning that its underlying profit before tax had climbed 23 percent to $2.4 billion in the first half of the year, while the group’s statutory profit before tax came in 34 percent higher at $2.3 billion after restructuring and other items. The group further resumed its interim dividend at 6p per share. The move comes amid ongoing restructuring under the lender’s chief executive Bill Winters who took the reins at the Asia-focused lender in 2015.
“Our return on equity improved to 6.7 per cent as a result, reinforcing our confidence that we will exceed eight percent in the medium term and underpinning the Board’s decision to resume the interim dividend,” Winters commented in the statement.
The Asia-focused lender meanwhile pointed to concerns surrounding the trading relationship between the US and China, noting that it believed that trade protectionism would be bad for the global economy, while reassuring investors that its direct exposure to the risks of US-China trade tensions was limited.
The update came after the FTSE 100 group agreed to an extension of its deferred prosecution agreement with the US until the end of December.