Shares in Standard Chartered are going crazy on Tuesday morning, despite the bank reporting that profits fell by 64% in the first quarter of 2016.
Pre-tax profits hit $539 million in Q1, compared to $1.5 billion over the same period in 2015, according to the bank’s latest trading update.
Despite that big fall in profitability, investors have taken heart from the fact that Standard reported a surpise fall in loan impairments, and a higher than expected increase in capital. The bank lost $471 million on loans, compated to the $805 million expected.
As a result, shares are charging, and have jumped 9% on the day. Just after 10:30 a.m. BST (5:30 a.m. ET) the company’s stock is trading at £5.68 per share, up 9.1%. Earlier shares gained as much as 10.5%. Here’s how things look today:
Speaking about the results, Standard’s chief executive Bill Winters said: “Although trading conditions in the first quarter remained challenging, we continue to make good progress on our strategic objectives. The management team is in place, we are taking action to improve recent income trends, managing costs tightly, progressing on key investments, making early progress on the exit of the liquidation portfolio, and maintaining strong levels of capital and liquidity.”
The statement added (emphasis ours):
Trading conditions in the first quarter of 2016 remained similar to the final quarter of 2015, including depressed commodity prices, volatility in Chinese markets, weak emerging market sentiment and concerns around interest rate and other policy actions. Despite the external environment, we have made good progress on our strategic objectives, tightly managing costs, implementing our investment programme, further reducing areas of risk concentration, and maintaining a well capitalised and liquid balance sheet.
Tuesday’s results follow on from the bank reporting its first annual loss in more than 25 years in 2015. In its annual results, release in February, Standard Chartered reported a surprise pretax loss of $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion), missing analysts’ expectations of a $1.4 billion profit.
The bank — which focuses on Asia, the Middle East, and Africa — is shedding nearly 15,000 jobs as part of a plan, announced in November, to streamline its business.