(Hong Kong) AFP: Standard Chartered announced a share buyback of up to US $1 billion yesterday as the bank reported a jump in first quarter pre-tax profits.
The lender’s first buyback in nearly two decades comes a fortnight after it reached a US $1.1 billion settlement for processing transactions that violated US sanctions on Iran and flouted anti-money laundering requirements.
The London-based lender’s first quarter pre-tax profits rose 10 percent to US $1.38 billion, it said sending shares surging six percent in Hong Kong.
“Our first-quarter profit supports our belief that we will generate full-year returns of at least 10 percent by 2021,” Chief Executive Bill Winters said in a statement.
Winters said the company will aim at growing its customer base across Hong Kong, Africa and India.
“The resolution of our legacy conduct and control issues means we can now manage our capital position more dynamically,” he added.
The bank said the buyback programme will start “imminently”.
Its last buyback was in 2002 when it acquired preference shares it had issued, according to Bloomberg News.
Standard Chartered has implemented wide-ranging restructuring and cutbacks since 2015.
The bank swung back to profit in 2016, a year after scoring its first annual loss for more than a quarter of a century as it struggled to cope with bad debts and fines for misconduct.