By Yifan Wang
Standard Chartered PLC said Thursday that its profit rose 18% in the first quarter, as the Asia-focused bank got a boost from the region's fast-recovering economies.
The upbeat earnings from Standard Chartered followed results from peer HSBC Holdings PLC, which earlier this week reported a more than doubling of its first-quarter profit, in a sign of the strength of Asia's economic rebound from the peak of the pandemic's impact.
Standard Chartered's first-quarter pretax underlying profit was $1.45 billion, compared with $1.22 billion a year earlier. The improvement was driven by sharply lower impairments, as the bank turned more optimistic about its business momentum.
Operating income fell 9% to $3.94 billion, dragged by weaker net interest income amid a low-interest-rate environment globally. Its net interest margin fell 0.30 percentage point to 1.22% in the period.
The lender said it expects impairment costs to reduce significantly for the rest of the year, while income could start growing again in the second half of 2021, given the broadly stabilized net interest margin.
It reiterated its confidence in the outperformance of Asian markets amid the global recovery from the pandemic.
"We believe that some of our larger markets will continue to drive the global economy out of recession over the coming quarters," the bank said.
Write to Yifan Wang at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires