London-based, Asia-focused lender Standard Chartered lifted its near-term revenue targets and announced a share buyback on Thursday, signs of growing confidence over a recovery in pandemic-hit markets and rising interest rates.
StanChart expects revenue to grow by an extra 3% per year as it benefits from rising interest rates as policymakers look to turn off years of cheap funding to fight inflationary pressures.
The bank announced a $750-million share buyback, starting imminently, and a 12 cents per share dividend for 2021, up a third on 2020. Its Hong Kong-listed shares were trading down 2.5% early on Thursday afternoon.
“Confidence in our overall asset quality and earnings trajectory allows us to return significant capital to shareholders,” chief executive Bill Winters said.
StanChart’s statutory pre-tax profit surged to $3.3 billion in calendar 2021 from $1.6 billion in 2020. That compared with a $3.8 billion average estimate of 16 analysts, as compiled by the lender.
The bank reported credit impairment charges of $263 million, versus $2.3 billion a year earlier.
Last week, StanChart said Mox, its virtual bank in Hong Kong launched during 2020 in partnership with PCCW, HKT and Trip.com, had passed 200,000 customers.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell
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