Standard Chartered Plc. (02888.HK) believes it will take two to three years to get its South Korea business “into shape,” group finance director Richard Meddings told a media teleconference on Tuesday. The British lender is “actively shrinking” its operations in South Korea, which remains its most difficult market, Meddings said. StanChart’s headcount globally is 2,000 lower than a year ago, marking the first such yearly drop in a long while, the executive said. Earlier in the day, StanChart announced in a regulatory filing that its income in the quarter ended September was down by a “low single-digit percentage” from a year earlier. On Aug. 6, the bank reported a 24 percent drop in first-half net profit amid a US$1 billion write-down on its South Korea business.
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