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Standard Chartered to raise 3.3b pounds

LONDON, Oct 13 – British-based emerging markets bank Standard Chartered on Wednesday said it planned to raise about 3.3 billion pounds (3.8 billion euros) by selling new shares to boost its capital.

"Standard Chartered plc today announces a … rights issue to raise approximately 3.258 million pounds," it said in a statement.

The lender added that the rights issue will help it meet new Basel III international banking rules, which call on how much capital banks should hold in reserve and are designed to avert another financial crisis.

Standard Chartered said it will issue a new share for eight existing ones at a unit price of 1,280 pence, which is 33 percent lower than its closing level on Tuesday.

The rights issue will "give the group greater capacity" to meet the Basel III regulations, which stipulate that internationally active banks have to hold capital equal to at least seven percent of their assets. Banks have until 2019 to comply but some rules take effect in 2013.

The extra funding will also allow the bank to continue its expansion in emerging markets around the world, it added.

"The rights issue will enable Standard Chartered to continue to seize opportunities across Asia, Africa and the Middle East, to continue focusing on its organic growth strategy, whilst also giving the group greater capacity to meet the Basel III countercyclical buffer and the enhanced capital requirements for systemically important institutions."

The rights issue is underwritten by JP Morgan Cazenove, Goldman Sachs and UBS.

"We see many opportunities for growth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East as the world continues to rebalance between East and West," added Chief Executive Peter Sands.

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"We are launching this rights issue to ensure that we can continue our strong record of organic growth and take full advantage of these opportunities, while at the same time being prepared for likely increases in capital requirements resulting from Basel III implementation.

"We believe this approach will create clear long-term value for our shareholders, and underpin the financial strength of the group."

The bank also boasted Wednesday that it had enjoyed "very good progress" in the third quarter of the year, recording its seventh successive quarter of record income and earnings.

"Standard Chartered has delivered seven successive years of record income and profit, and the board continues to see exciting opportunities for significant growth across its market footprint in the world\’s fastest expanding economies," the lender added.

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