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Standard Chartered profits down 64% with revenue missing estimates

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Standard Chartered said Tuesday first quarter profits slumped 64 per cent year-on-year as revenue for the period also plunged, following a turbulent 2015 in which the troubled bank announced it would axe thousands of jobs.

[HONG KONG] Standard Chartered said Tuesday first quarter profits slumped 64 per cent year-on-year as revenue for the period also plunged, following a turbulent 2015 in which the troubled bank announced it would axe thousands of jobs.

The Asia-focused bank said profits for the first three months fell to US$539 million from US$1.49 billion in the same period last year.

Revenue also missed estimates at US$3.35 billion - short of the US$3.49 billion predicted by analysts polled by Bloomberg News and slumping 24 per cent compared with the first quarter a year earlier.

Earnings from corporate clients fell 27 per cent to US$1.85 billion, while income from retail clients also saw a drop of almost 20 per cent to US$1.21 billion.

But in a statement filed to the Hong Kong stock exchange the bank remained upbeat despite the results.

"Although trading conditions in the first quarter remained challenging, we continue to make good progress on our strategic objectives," group chief executive Bill Winters said.

Like many global banks, Standard Chartered is battling turmoil in global financial markets that has seen stocks and commodities plunge.

In February it said it had swung to a surprise US$2.36 billion net loss in 2015 against a backdrop of global market volatility, restructuring costs and bad loans, adding that its 2016 performance would remain "subdued".

It announced in November that it was refocusing on "affluent retail clients" rather than corporate and institutional banking businesses and would exit or restructure US$100 billion of assets and axe 15,000 jobs.

The bank also said executive directors did not receive bonus payments for the year.

AFP