, HONG KONG, China, Feb 27 – Standard Chartered said Thursday its pre-tax profit rose to $4.2 billion last year but warned growth for 2020 would likely be dented by the coronavirus outbreak.
The Asia-focused British bank
said pre-tax profit surged eight percent in 2019 despite what the group’s chief
executive Bill Winters described as “an increasingly challenging external
In a statement attached to the
results, Winters said the bank faced low interest rates, a slowing global
economy, the US-China trade war and several months of pro-democracy protests in
Hong Kong last year.
And now coronavirus is wreaking
growing economic havoc.
“These external challenges
will mean that income growth in 2020 is likely to be lower than our anticipated
5-7 per cent medium term range,” said Winters, although he described the
economic headwinds in 2020 as “transitory”.
The results showed greater
China and North Asia fared well with three percent growth while Africa and
Middle East surged 29 percent and was the bank’s fastest-growing market.
Bank chairman Jose Vinals said
geopolitics and societal change have become “more uncertain than
“This means that
instability and rapid change are becoming the new normal,” Vinals added.