Thu, Jun 07, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Standard Chartered planning Asia hubs in Singapore, HK


Standard Chartered PLC plans to create two new hubs for its Asian operations in Singapore and Hong Kong to simplify the emerging market lender’s extensive network and reduce costs, people familiar with the plan said.

The bank has drawn up plans to consolidate as many as 10 Southeast and South Asian nations — potentially including Indonesia and India — under a new Singapore subsidiary as soon as next year, the people said.

It is intended to allow the bank to manage its assets and capital more efficiently, and could reduce the size of the emergency buffers regulators require the firm to maintain, one person said.

Standard Chartered is also consolidating some of its non-China North Asian nations into a Hong Kong subsidiary, the people said, adding that the plans are not final and could change.

“The group is strongly capitalized and is highly liquid, and as you would expect, we continually look at ways of optimizing the group’s capital and liquidity structures,” Standard Chartered said in a statement on Tuesday.

The restructure could pave the way for a partial sale or listing of the new units, the people said, but added that this is not on the immediate horizon.

Standard Chartered would be able to consolidate its liquidity and capital by uniting several nations in a move executives hope will reduce its regulatory requirements, one of the people said.

At the moment, the bank’s balance sheet is fragmented and that is constraining lending and growth, the people said.

The plan is an extension of an announcement in February that it would absorb its retail, commercial and investment bank in Singapore into one unit, one of the people said.

Singapore’s state-owned investment fund Temasek Holdings Pte is among Standard Chartered’s investors, with a stake of more than 15 percent, the bank’s annual report showed.

The bank already has listings in Hong Kong and India.

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