Standard Chartered Plc (the Group) on Tuesday released its financial results for the half-year ended 30 June 2021, reporting a profit before tax increase of 37 percent year on year.
Helped by improved loan impairments, strong underlying business momentum and good progress across the Bank’s strategic priorities, the profit reported in Africa and the Middle East region is the highest half-yearly operating profit over the last five years.
The Bank further announced an additional share buy-back programme together with the resumption of the interim dividend payment.
The highlight of the financials includes the fact that its income remained flat YoY and 1 percent higher on a constant currency basis despite being impacted by rate cuts and currency devaluation (drag of approx. 8 per cent).
Underlying income was up 8 percent reflecting growth in Wealth Management Income and healthy pipeline conversions.
The bank reported a healthy operating profit of $476 million compared to $91 million during the same period last year; driven by significantly reduced credit impairments, wealth growth, productivity actions and a strong pipeline; partly offset by the flow-through impact of rate cuts.
Further analysis of the financial showed that tit reported significant improvement in the region’s Return on Tangible Equity (ROTE) ratio. It saw a great turnaround story in the UAE; with significantly improved returns.
The Bank’s income in Africa grew by 6 percent on a constant currency basis driven by the digital banking momentum in CPBB and deal pipeline.
“I’m extremely proud of our best first-half performance in over five years! This is the result of all the hard work the team has put in over the years and the execution of some tough decisions we made to drive efficiencies and reduce risk. This has happened during a period when the backdrop while improving remains uncertain and challenging and is a true testament to the resilience of our underlying business. We have remained focused on clients and people and have made very good progress on our priorities,” Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa and the Middle East said while commenting on the results.
According to Kaushal, the lender is excited about the recent expansion of its network into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “We will leverage our presence in the Kingdom to promote trade, investment, and capital flows in support of the Saudi Vision 2030.”
The digital banking platforms the bank has launched across nine key African Markets – Cote d’Ivoire, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria – have transformed the way it does business and connect with its clients, the lender said.
“The pandemic, rather than becoming a stumbling block, has accelerated our growth by increasing our customer base by over half a million, which is 50% higher than our legacy base,” Kaushal said.
As it moves forward, Kaushal said the region is focused on executing swiftly against the strategy to drive growth and the bank is determined to support its clients achieve prosperity whilst being the most responsible and sustainable bank.
Standard Chartered Bank’s Africa, Middle East Region has received the following awards for the year 2021 which further cements the progress and leadership the Bank is establishing in the region. Some of the awards include most Impressive Bank for the Middle East and Africa Bonds by Global Capital voted by our clients and peers, Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Middle East Award for Bond House of the Year, Best International Bank award at the 2021 Asiamoney Middle East’s Best Bank Awards, World’s Best Subcustodian Banks 2021, Standard Chartered Middle East, Global Finance Magazine, Best Innovation in Trade Finance by MEA Finance Banking Technology Awards 2021 and among others.