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Sun 1 Mar 2020 11:19 AM

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Standard Chartered sees 2019 MENA profits up 29%, warns of impact or coronavirus

British bank generates 68% if its revenue from Asia, particularly China

Standard Chartered sees 2019 MENA profits up 29%, warns of impact or coronavirus

Globally, the bank reported underlying pretax profit of $4.2 billion for 2019, an increase of 8 percent. 

Standard Chartered’s Middle East and African operations saw profits rise 29 percent in 2019, but the British lender warned on Thursday that its overall global growth in 2020 will be impacted by the coronavirus as over two-thirds of its revenues comes from Asia, particularly China.

The bank earned $684 million in profit before taxation in the Middle East and Africa last year, a 29 percent year-on-year increase, despite underlying income falling 2 percent to $2.562 billion.

“I’m proud to say that 2019 was a strong year for the Bank. For Africa and Middle East, we were well-positioned for growth moving into the year and this is clearly illustrated in our results. Our strong performance demonstrates the transformation of the Africa and Middle East franchise despite a challenging macroeconomic backdrop across the region,” Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East said:

While Kaushall said the bank “had a good start to the business in 2020 and the underlying business excluding large deals continues to be resilient” the lender warned on Thursday that the coronavirus would impact growth this year.

Globally, the bank reported underlying pretax profit of $4.2 billion for 2019, an increase of 8 percent. With 68 percent of its revenues coming from Asia, and particularly China, it warned growth this year would be impacted.

“Had we not had lower interest rates, substantially slower growth and the impact of the coronavirus... we would not have had to push our targets back,” chief executive Bill Winters was quoted as saying on Thursday.

The bank’s chief financial officer Andy Halford also told Bloomberg Television that a “couple of thousand” of its staff had recently self-quarantined themselves as a precaution.

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