February 27, 2018 / 4:40 AM / 22 days ago

StanChart annual profit soars but misses estimates, sets 2017 dividend

HONG KONG/LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Standard Chartered Plc’s pretax profit rose six-fold in 2017, slightly below estimates, as it made its way back towards higher revenues after two years of restructuring and dealing with bad loans in some of its main markets.

Pretax profit at the emerging markets-focused bank jumped to $2.41 billion in its latest financial year, up from $409 million in 2016, but below the $2.7 billion average of 10 analysts’ estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Operating income, closely watched by investors who want StanChart to deliver profit from core business growth rather than lower provisions for bad loans, was up nearly 3 percent to $14.43 billion, according to the bank’s statement on Tuesday.

The bank said its board recommended resuming a dividend on the back of the improving financial performance and strong capital. It proposed a full year dividend of 11 cents per ordinary share.

After coming through the financial crisis relatively unscathed, StanChart ran into trouble when global commodity prices crashed and bad debts started to rise on its books following over-exuberant lending.

Investors are now hoping that it can return to revenue growth again after a two-year restructuring under chief executive Bill Winters who has cut more than 15,000 jobs and axed business lines such as Asian equities. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Emma Rumney; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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