SINGAPORE: Standard Chartered on Friday reported first-half pre-tax profit rose 19%, above market expectations, as the emerging markets-focused lender benefited from rising interest rates.

Statutory pretax profit for the lender, which earns most of its revenue in Asia, increased to $2.8 billion in the first half of the year from $2.35 billion in the same period a year earlier.

StanChart's profit was better than the $2.48 billion average of analysts' forecasts compiled by the bank.




The London-headquartered lender, which is focused on Asia, Africa and the Middle East, said it was on track to deliver a 10% return on tangible equity, a key earnings metric, by 2024 if not earlier.

The bank also increased payouts to shareholders, with an increased interim dividend of $119 million equal to 4 cents per share, and announce a $500 million share buyback.

StanChart said its performance was boosted as its business is focused on eastern markets, rather than the U.S. and Europe where interest rate hikes to combat spiralling inflation are threatening economic growth.

"Looking forward, whilst recession risks are rising in the West, we are seeing the early stages of a post-pandemic recovery in many of the markets in which we operate, underpinning our prospects for growth," Chief Executive Bill Winters said in the results statement. - Reuters

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