A recovery in pandemic-hit markets helped Standard Chartered report better-than-expected quarterly pre-tax profit on Tuesday.
The bank’s statutory pretax profit jumped from $435 million in July-September (Q3) 2020 to $996 million in Q3 2021, more than doubling the average estimate of 16 analysts compiled by the bank. The bank earns most of its revenue in Asia.
Against a $353 million credit impairment charge a year earlier, the London-based bank reported $107 million credit impairment charges.
According to a statement from StanChart, the company expects credit impairment to remain low in the fourth quarter but urges vigilance in case of uneven recovery.
After repairing the balance sheet and slashing thousands of jobs during his early years, CEO Bill Winters has tried to restore growth by investing in digital assets in the last few years.
Despite this, StanChart’s London-listed shares have underperformed rivals since then, rising 8% compared to HSBC’s 18% increase and Barclays’ 37% gain this year.
Financial markets trading was a key driver of StanChart’s quarterly results, which grew by 11% year-over-year.
According to StanChart, it has $4.2 billion in exposure to China’s real estate sector, where Evergrande Group has a $300 billion debt load and is stoking worries about more defaults and contagion risks.
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“We continue to monitor the potential second-order impacts of recent developments,” StanChart said.
StanChart, like its larger rival HSBC, has been relying on China to help drive its growth amid sluggish prospects in western markets.
HSBC announced a $2 billion share buyback last month after beating quarterly expectations.