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AMC sale adds sheen to StanChart bottomline
MUMBAI: Standard Chartered Bank India saw an 89% rise in its operating profit for the half-year ended this June 31, helped by a near-doubling in corporate banking profitability.

The bank’s operating profit stood at $606 million, which included the $146 million the bank received for the sale of its asset management company to Industrial Development Finance Co this March. Excluding the AMC sale proceeds, the bank’s operating profit shot up by 44% to $460 million and revenues 47% to $829 million. Corporate banking contributed $411 million and consumer banking $49 million to the bottom line.

Their contributions to the operating profit rose 47% and 23% respectively.

Anurag Adlkha, chief financial officer for India & south Asia, said the bank’s net interest margin was 3.9%, “slightly higher” than the figure last year.

The bank’s capital adequacy ratio according to Basel II norms as on March 31 this year was 10.5%.

Neeraj Swaroop, regional chief executive, India & south Asia, said both the corporate and retail segments contributed to growth.

On the corporate side, financial advisory turned out to be an important driver of growth. Non-interest income constituted about 45% of revenues. The bank advised Tata Chemicals on its acquisition of the US-based General Chemicals Corp, among other deals, said the press release.

Sundeep Bhandari, managing director and regional head, global markets, India & south Asia, said there is going to be no lull in acquisitions. “India Inc has not stopped looking overseas and the pipeline looks robust.” He added that there are a lot of small and medium enterprises making deals, which are not widely reported.

On the retail front, Swaroop said that despite the trend of rising credit card delinquencies, his bank did not face any problems. “Going forward we will focus on particular segments of unsecured loans,” he said.

Swaroop said his bank’s exposure to microfinance would rise from Rs 500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore in 12-18 months. “We have a customer base of 2.2 lakh,” he added.

Adkha said the bank had a capital infusion of $500 million in the first half of the current calendar year, with half that amount pumped in two months back.
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