Mumbai: The India wholesale banking operations of Standard Chartered Plc. (StanChart) have emerged as the largest business contributor to the lender’s global revenues. On profits, the India operations continue to be the second largest contributor after Hong Kong.
Operating profit on 31 December, excluding a one-time gain from the sale of its asset management business, rose a robust 16% to $797 million (Rs4,120 crore today), against $689 million for the same period in the last fiscal year. Like its parent, Standard Chartered Bank India follows a January to December accounting year.
The bank is even evaluating listing on India’s bourses, said Neeraj Swaroop, regional chief executive (India and South Asia). But “the markets are...not conducive at this point in time,” he said.
The lender’s wholesale banking operations in the country saw a 16% growth in operating profit to $726 million, from $626 million.
StanChart’s capital adequacy ratio, or the ratio of capital to risk-weighted assets, is above 11%.
Unlike most of its foreign bank peers, StanChart’s consumer banking unit saw a 13% increase in operating profit to $71 million, despite an increase in non-performing assets (NPAs). Gross NPAs in 2008 increased to 1.4%, from 1.1% in the previous fiscal year.
The bank’s customer deposits grew 30% to Rs47,900 crore, while customer advances increased by 27% to Rs38,300 crore. Consumer finance credit due for more than 30 days stood at 4.5%.
Loan impairment for the bank has increased to $157 million, from $90 million. “We have seen some strain in the consumer bank, particularly in the unsecured lending portfolio (personal loans). However, we are much lower than the industry,” said Swaroop.
“We will continue to go slow on unsecured lending, which includes personal loans, and be selective in the credit card business,” he added. “On the secured portfolio, we will continue to grow the mortgage business and our wholesale banking business will also continue to grow. We will continue to grow our balance sheet.”
StanChart has also received the Reserve Bank of India’s approval to add four branches to its current 90.