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Standard Chartered Bank profit grows 29 percent in Africa & Middle East

By George Mangula

Standard Chartered Bank’s underlying operating profit before taxation of US$684 million was 29 per cent higher in Africa and Middle East with lower expenses and improved credit impairment partially offset by a 2 per cent decrease in income. The latest results released Thursday capture the year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2019.

Underlying operating income of US$2,562 million was down 2 percent but up 3 per cent on a constant currency basis, with a good performance in our Financial Markets business across the region. Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan were flat, and Africa was down 3 per cent

Strong performances in Financial Markets and Corporate Finance were offset by margin compression in Retail Banking and lower Wealth Management in UAE

Loans and advances to customers were up 5 per cent and customer accounts were down 2 per cent


Commenting on the results, Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East said: “I’m proud to say that 2019 was a strong year for the Bank. For Africa and Middle East, we were well-positioned for growth moving into the year and this is clearly illustrated in our results. Our strong performance demonstrates the transformation of the Africa and Middle East franchise despite a challenging macroeconomic backdrop across the region.”

“Our results are driven by an outstanding performance by our Global Banking business, particularly in Corporate Finance which had a strong first quarter in 2019 closing out marquee deals, and our Debt Capital Markets business also had a strong year overall. The distinct competitive advantage of our network capabilities and strong product offering allowed us to connect to our clients across Africa and the Middle East and grow key corridors into the region. Our focus on accelerating our digital agenda and the transformation of our Retail Banking business proved successful as well. We launched eight digital banks across key markets in sub-Saharan Africa in less than a year, digitised our wealth management offering for the digital bank platform, and grew accounts by over 150,000.”

“We have had a good start to the business in 2020 and the underlying business excluding large deals continues to be resilient. As we move forward, the region is focused on executing swiftly against the strategy to drive growth and we are determined to support our clients achieve prosperity.”

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