Standard Chartered, the number two UK bank by market value, has seen revenues for the first nine months of 2011 grow by "a high single digit percentage".
Forgive the lack of precision but Standard Chartered, unlike its peers, does not provide exact figures for the third quarter. We do know the bank made $3.64bn in the first six months of this year and that, while many banks are shedding staff, Standard Chartered decided to go on a hiring spree in Asia back in August. In other words, this is not a troubled bank, the like of which we're getting very used to in Europe.
According to today's management statement profit before tax "grew at a double digit rate" as income remained well above the level of 2010,
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Importantly for Standard Chartered its "income remains spread". This is crucial to understanding how the bank works. It makes much of its money in developing markets and through corporate banking. It notes a slowdown in India of late and Korea "remains muted". Operations in Hong Kong and Singapore are, however, "strong".
Structurally, Standard Chartered is split into two divisions, Consumer Banking and Wholesale Banking.
The Consumer arm is the junior partner but today's statement shows "income (in the third quarter) was up on the first half run rate and was up by a double digit percentage rate over the third quarter of 2010".
The big daddy of Standard's business however is Wholesale which provided 80% of total income over the third quarter and produced "high single digit growth".
The other element of today's figures that investors will note is where Standard is not doing business. The management statement closes by emphasising:
"We have no direct sovereign exposure to Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece or Spain. Our direct sovereign exposure in Europe is immaterial."
In a world terrified by Euro meltdown these are comforting words.
Standard Chartered shares were down slightly (-1.22%) in early trading and are down 16.6% for the year to date (ytd). However, compared to Lloyds (-53.72% ytd) and Barclays (-31%) Standard is doing very well.
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