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StanChart targets 5-7% growth in investment bank

[LONDON] Standard Chartered aims to grow revenue at its investment banking unit by a compound annual growth rate of 5 to 7 per cent in the medium term, the head of that business said on Tuesday.

The Asia, Africa and Middle East-focused lender will boost income after two years of restructuring by cross-selling to more clients in those markets and benefiting from intra-regional trade initiatives, said Simon Cooper, chief executive of corporate and institutional banking at StanChart.

"We'll deliver products where we have a clear competitive strength to new and existing clients with increasingly sophisticated financial services needs," Mr Cooper told investors at a conference.

Investors are hoping StanChart can begin to grow revenue again, after a two-year restructuring under chief executive and former JPMorgan banker Bill Winters that has seen him slash more than 15,000 jobs and axe business lines such as Asian equities.

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Mr Winters hired Mr Cooper from rival HSBC in April 2016 to improve performance at the lender's corporate and institutional banking division, which provides finance, transaction services and other products to companies and financial firms.

Mr Cooper said the bank has cut US$1.6 billion worth of annual revenue by removing sub-scale and unprofitable businesses, and that the focus is now on restoring growth.

Some investors however remain sceptical that the lender can grow profits in the long term at the same level as in the past.

StanChart shares fell 5 per cent on Nov 1 after it reported higher expenses and flat revenue for the third quarter.

The shares were down 0.7 per cent on Tuesday after its presentation to investors, underperforming a flat Stoxx European banks index.