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StanChart hopes to grow fast in Asia, Africa and Mideast

Publication Date : 06-07-2012


Standard Chartered Plc expects to grow at a fast pace despite the problems in the West, in particular Europe, and economic momentum in Asia starting to ebb.

The bank, which has posted record profits for nine consecutive years, believes that its banking business in Asia, Africa and the Middle East will hold it in good stead, with intra-Asian trade and investments rising and similar flows between the different regions it has a presence in.

“When you look at the markets we are in, the opportunities to win market share and the development in the demand for financial services, there remains an opportunity to grow at pace because demand for financial services is growing rapidly,” said group chief executive Peter Sands.

“We continue to see opportunities to win market share and although economic activity has slowed down a bit, it's still growing at pace.”

Between the end of 2006 and the end of 2011, Standard Chartered increased lending by 93 per cent and profits by 113 per cent.

Sands said the next phase of the crisis or turbulence around the world will create some challenges but the banking group was not complacent and was seeing some opportunities being created.

“We are growing our business with European corporates doing business in Asia but there are also opportunities to win market share. In our core transaction banking business such as trade finance, we have been consistently winning market share.”

Sands said as Standard Chartered was now in over 70 countries, there were economies that were facing different challenges.

But the bank is zooming in on its biggest growth markets India and China and is also seeing significant growth from its operations in Asean.

“If you look at our performance, profits from Asean grew about 40 per cent,” he said.

“Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia are significant source of growth for us.”

Another is a resilient performer is Africa where Standard Chartered is present in 15 countries and is stepping up investments.

“Another is the increasing trade and investment linkages between Asia and Africa.

“We are increasingly doing more intra-Asia flows, which have been growing rapidly, and the trade corridors between Brazil and China or between Asia and Africa. It's not just about the interactions between the West and Asia,” Sands said.

Standard Chartered on Wednesday announced that it was setting up a global hub for Islamic consumer banking in Kuala Lumpur.

Sands believes that the Islamic consumer market would continue to grow more rapidly than consumer banking on the whole as the level of penetration was still relatively low among Islamic countries in the world.


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