7 Aug 2013

Standard Chartered profits hit by $US1b write-off

7:48 am on 7 August 2013

Standard Chartered has reported a drop in profits after the bank wrote off $US1 billion from the value of its Korean business.

Pre-tax profit fell almost 16% to $US3.3 billion in the six months to the end of June, compared to $US3.9 billion for the same period a year ago.

Bank chairman Sir John Peace said Korea was its "most difficult market". Excluding the write-off, profit edged up 4%.

However, the BBC reports he said the bank remained "confident for the long term".

"The external environment will remain challenging for the foreseeable future, but we are in the right markets and have the right strategy in place to deliver growth," he added.

The bank, which is listed in London, which makes over 90% of its profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, said it had seen "excellent performances" from Hong Kong, India and Africa.

In Hong Kong, pre-tax profit was over $US1 billion for the first time in a six-month period.

The BBC reports Standard Chartered was fined $US667 million in the United States last year for breaching sanctions on Iran and three other countries.