labels: Banks general
StanChart discounts capital concerns; looks at growth news
29 October 2008

Asia focused UK banking major Standard Charterd Plc, which reported strong third quarter results, said it will not participate in the UK government's 500 billion bailout and asked the Treasury instead to underwrite a share issue.

StanChart, which was involved in talks that led to the government's rescue package, said it did not require fresh funds, but said StanChart would continue to raise capital if necessary to support the growth of its business and would look at acquisitions.

StanChart, had a fortnight ago, announced that it meets the capital requirements under the UK banking sector regulations and therefore does not intend to raise fresh capital.

StanChart, which boasts of an 85 per cent loan-to-deposit ratio, also claims lower exposure to the troubled interbank lending market than most rivals.

StanChart said it continued to progress in the third quarter despite slowing economic growth in the Asian region and was confident of its capital strength.

''It is clear that Asian economic growth is moderating but, in general, the economies remain resilient and their economic growth rates remain well above the rates of growth for markets in the West," the bank said in a statement.

StanChart said the current progress builds on its strong progress in the first half, in which it reported a 31 per cent growth in its profit before tax.

Banking transactions, particularly trade finance, continued to be strong, with credit quality remaining good, StanChart said, adding the third quarter also registered a continued and steady inflow of customer deposits.

Lending, particularly to small and medium enterprises, helped the bank maintain a steady income in the consumer banking sector during the quarter. The global financial market turmoil affected StanChart's wealth management business, particularly in September. However, credit quality continues to be good across all its major product streams, the bank said.

StanChart said it continued to invest, albeit with tight control over its expenses, with three new branches in Hong Kong, 49 new outlets in China, and introduction of online banking service in Vietnam.  

StanChart, which was involved in the talks that led to the Government's rescue package, said it did not require fresh funds. But, Richard Meddings, the bank's finance director, said StanChart would continue to raise capital if necessary to support the growth of its business and would look at acquisitions.

"If there were assets which fitted strategically, and we were able to acquire them at good value, we would be interested."

Shares of Standard Chartered, which lost 38 per cent since 20 October amid fears of a dramatic slowdown in Asia,  rose 3 per cent on the London Stock Exchange after the news.

Governments and central banks across the world have have so far announced a 4473 billion bail-out of troubled global financial industry from the worst crisis yet.


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StanChart discounts capital concerns; looks at growth