StanChart third-quarter profit slumps 40% on higher credit impairment

HONG KONG/LONDON: Standard Chartered said third-quarter profit slid 40% on higher credit impairment resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and lower interest rates, although a tighter rein on costs helped it beat expectations.

Underlying pretax profit came in at $745 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, down from $1.24 billion a year ago, but above the $502 million average of analysts' forecasts compiled by the bank.

"Lower interest rates continue to impact income but we remain well-positioned to meet our financial targets, albeit with some delay," Chief Executive Bill Winters said in an earnings statement.

The pandemic has brought on a perfect storm for many global banks, propelling them to cut costs and restructure further as bad loans mount, lending margins are squeezed and interest rates hit rock-bottom or even turn negative.

StanChart, which is focused on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, announced last month it would merge several businesses and cut its number of senior executives.

Both StanChart and rival HSBC, whose shares have nearly halved in value this year, are also grappling with political uncertainty in Hong Kong - a key market for both of them. - Reuters

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