StanChart profit swells on soaring global interest rates

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StanChart profit swells on soaring global interest rates

Bill Winters, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered, at the Asian Financial Forum 2020 in Hong Kong.

Standard Chartered PLC (StanChart) on Wednesday said first-quarter pretax profit jumped 21%, beating expectations, as rising interest rates buoyed cash management income and retail product sales for the emerging markets-focused lender.

Chief Executive Bill Winters said he now expects income this year to grow around 10%, the top of a previously guided range.

The earnings update showed how rising central bank rates have boosted revenue, as StanChart charged borrowers more interest while not passing all of the increase to depositors.

StanChart, which earns most of its revenue in Asia, said January-March statutory pretax profit reached $1.81 billion. That compared with $1.49 billion a year earlier and the $1.43 billion average of 14 analyst estimates compiled by the bank.

It was StanChart's largest single-quarter profit since the start of 2014 despite its biggest income earner - financial markets trading - seeing weaker activity compared with last year when markets experienced record volatility.

StanChart's Hong Kong-listed shares rose as much as 1.4% to HK$61.90 versus 1.04% in the broader market.

The bank said income in its corporate cash management business tripled due to "strong pricing discipline and passthrough rate management".

Retail banking income rose 53%, propelled by deposit income which also tripled to $771 million.

The robust earnings echoed resilience at U.S. banks which reported results earlier this month, as the sector weathered a global confidence crisis following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse Group AG.

European rival UBS Group AG on Tuesday said it would gird itself for the "hard" task of swallowing fallen compatriot Credit Suisse, which registered 61 billion Swiss francs ($68.49 billion) of asset outflows in the first quarter.

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