Standard Chartered eyes Indian listing

After breaching the $1 billion (Rs4,609 crore) annual operating profit target for the first time in its Indian operations, the UK's Standard Chartered is looking at raising between $500-$750 million through a listing of Indian depository receipts in the second quarter of 2010.

The London-based but Asia-focused Standard Chartered, despite being a UK-based bank has few customers at home, and reaps 90 per cent of its profits in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

By focussing on Asia, Standard Chartered has been able to increase its pre-tax profit by 13 per cent to $5.15 billion in 2009 from $4.57 billion in the previous year.

Standard Chartered, which has hired UBS, Goldman Sachs, DSP Merrill Lynch and Standard Chartered STCI Capital Markets, part of its its Indian arm, and other banks for an India listing, said that India has now emerged as a rival to Hong Kong, where it crossed the $1 billion milestone in 2007.

The bank, which has its operations predominantly in former British colonies, said that it was looking for a possible listing in India in the June quarter of this year depending on market conditions and is still looking for a stock market listing in China.

With bonus pay-outs at the focus of attention in the UK, Standard Chartered, which did not avail of the UK bank bailout scheme, said that its 2009 bonus pool was below $1.1 billion.

Peter Sands, chief executive of Standard Chartered said that he would be donating his 2009 bonus of $3.2 million to a charitable trust.