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India adds shine to StanChart crown

Mumbai, March 2 (PTI): British banking giant Standard Chartered today reported a 23 per cent jump in profit before tax in India at $1.12 billion for 2010, making it the most profitable region across the 70 nations it operates in.

The bank — the first to come out with an IDR (Indian depository receipts) issue last year and getting listed on Indian bourses — saw its total income from India go up 12 per cent to $2.03 billion during the period, its regional chief executive Neeraj Swaroop said.

In terms of profit before tax (PBT), India is followed by Hong Kong, which posted $1.10 billion. Global PBT stood at $6.12 billion.

Profit from the consumer banking vertical was up 87 per cent at $101 million, while profits from wholesale banking grew 9 per cent to $1.09 billion, he said.

Swaroop said performance in the small and medium enterprises and wealth management verticals helped consumer banking, while on the wholesale side, growth was across sectors.

Overall, it witnessed a credit growth of 28 per cent and a 27 per cent deposit growth during the year.

At present, around 54 per cent of the bank’s revenues come from the core interest income, while the rest is contributed by fee income which consists of advisory fees and commissions.

StanChart’s net interest margin for India went down 0.4 percentage points to 3.4 per cent on the back of competition coming back into the market after the global financial crisis, Swaroop said, adding that the margins should remain flat in the next 6-12-month period.

HSBC plan

HSBC Group’s global head today said the company was open to more acquisitions in India.

The bank has already announced its plans to acquire select operations of The Royal Bank of Scotland in the country.

“We will explore every opportunity whether it’s organic or inorganic. If opportunities are available for us to build our platform in India we will take them,” HSBC Holding Plc Group chairman Douglas J. Flint told reporters here.

The Indian operations are the seventh largest contributor to HSBC’s global turnover.

HSBC India had yesterday reported a PBT of $679 million, its highest-ever from the country.

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