Standard Chartered Plc. (StanChart, 02888.HK) is cutting its interim dividend by half, saying its net profit slumped 37 percent and pre-tax profit tumbled 44 percent in the six months to June.
It is the lowest dividend since the bank’s public listing in 2002.
Net profit came in at US$1.46 billion and adjusted pre-tax profit at US$1.82 billion, way below market estimates, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
Meanwhile, tier-1 common equity ratio rose to 11.5 percent from 10.7 percent, easing funding pressure on the bank in the second half, Citigroup Inc. analysts said.
Chairman John Peace said the bank has taken measures to reduce risk and cut costs.
It is already shedding jobs as part of a cost-cutting plan, which is being ramped up under new chief executive William Winters.
Also, certain non-core assets have been offloaded, impacting return on equity which has been halved to 5.4 percent, the bank said.
Loan impairment surged 95 percent, mainly dragged by a writedown in India and by its private banking business.
Greater China chief executive Benjamin Hung said it is doubtful whether asset quality will improve in the second half given uncertainties in the economy.
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