The bank — which makes 90 percent of its profit in Asia, the Middle
East and Africa — is expected to report a 2013 profit of $7.1
billion, down from $7.5 billion in 2012, after stripping out one-off
items, according to the average forecast compiled by the company.
Standard Chartered warned in December that 10 years of record
earnings would end in 2013 due to losses in Korea, weak investment
banking income and a slowdown in Asia.
Chief Executive Peter Sands reorganized his bank's structure a month
later, which included the surprise exit of two top lieutenants, and
said the bank will focus more on profitability and making better use
of its capital.
That could see it follow rival HSBC <HSBA.L> and sell businesses
that are unprofitable, lack scale or do not align with other parts
of the bank.
Standard Chartered is seeking buyers for its Hong Kong consumer
finance business PrimeCredit Ltd, worth $500 million to $700
million, Reuters reported last month. It is expected to cut
operations in South Korea and could sell businesses in Lebanon and
its Swiss private bank.
The London-listed bank had a torrid 2013 after a long run of strong
growth that set it apart from its western rivals, and is facing
scrutiny on growth prospects and its capital strength.
Its shares have tumbled 28 percent in the last year, compared to a
19 percent rally by Europe's bank index <.SX7P>.
[to top of second column]
"2013 was by its usual standards an annus horribilus for Standard
Chartered with only flat revenues and a $1 billion goodwill
writedown in Korea," said Ian Gordon, analyst at Investec.
"We believe that 2014 will morph into a revival year," he said,
predicting a pick-up in its investment bank revenues.
But other analysts are less upbeat, and said Standard Chartered
faces a slowdown in loan growth and pressure to build capital that
could constrain its dividends and income growth in the next few
Joseph Dickerson, analyst at Jefferies, predicted loan growth will
slow to 3 percent a year through 2016, from 10 percent over the last
five years, and said it will not be able to counter that with better
(Reporting by Steve Slater; editing by
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