Standard Chartered reinstates dividend, reaffirms profit goals
HONG KONG – Standard Chartered PLC reinstated its dividend on Thursday and reaffirmed its long-term profit targets. This comes as a show of confidence about its ability to recover from the pandemic pummelling although its annual profit more than halved.
The bank said that overall income in 2021 is likely to be similar to last year’s because of the impact of global interest rate slashes for the first half.
Headquartered in London, the bank earns the bulk of its revenue in Asia. It said it would return capital to investors through a 9 cents per share dividend and $254 million buyback. Its total payout will be the maximum allowed under temporary guidelines set by the Bank of England.
Last year, the BoE told the largest lenders in the nation to suspend dividend payments and share buybacks for 2020 to enable them to maintain capital buffers against an unexpected hit to loan books from the pandemic.
“Having now resumed it, we expect to be able to increase the full-year dividend per share over time as we execute our strategy and progress towards a 10% return on tangible equity,” Jose Vinals, Standard Chartered’s chairman, said in the exchange filing.
Standard Chartered also said its return on tangible equity would rise from 3% to 7% by 2023.
Its shares listed in Hong Kong fell as much as 1.9% after the results were published.