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pretax profit up 5.5%, beats estimates

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Standard Chartered posted on Thursday a 5.5% rise in its first-quarter pretax profit, beating estimates, as higher interest rates bolstered earnings at the emerging markets-focused lender.

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Standard Chartered  posted on Thursday a 5.5% rise in its first-quarter pretax profit, beating estimates, as higher interest rates bolstered earnings at the emerging markets-focused lender.

StanChart, which earns most of its revenue in Asia, said pretax profit in the quarter was $1.91 billion. That compared with $1.81 billion a year earlier and the $1.39 billion average of 13 analyst estimates compiled by the bank.

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“We delivered a strong set of results in the first quarter of 2024, with double-digit growth in income and positive operational leverage,” StanChart Chief Executive Bill Winters said in the earnings statement.

“We remain confident in the delivery of our financial targets and are maintaining our full year 2024 guidance.”

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Despite the forecast-beating quarterly profit, the bank saw its credit impairments worsen in 2024, with a $165 million writedown in the first three months, compared to $20 million a year earlier.

StanChart had taken a total of $850 million in writedowns in the previous quarters on its stake in China’s Bohai Bank, which like its peers suffered from a slowing Chinese economy and the deepening crisis in the country’s property sector.

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The lender, which makes bulk of its revenues in Asia, said that its profit from joint ventures in the first quarter slipped from $18 million to $6 million as profit at Bohai Bank fell, in a further sign of its struggles in China.

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