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Standard Chartered 2010 net profit soars 29% to $4.2 bn

LONDON, March 2, 2011 – British-based emerging markets bank Standard Chartered said Wednesday that its 2010 net profit soared by almost a third, delivering a record performance for an eighth successive year.

Profit after tax jumped 29 percent to $4.2 billion (3.05 billion euros) last year from $3.3 billion in 2009, the London-listed lender said in a statement.

Pre-tax earnings rose 19 percent to $6.12 billion with operating income up six percent to $16.1 billion.

"These results represent our eighth consecutive year of record income and profits," chief executive Peter Sands said.

"This is not a bounce-back, or recovery story, but one of consistent delivery and of diverse and sustained growth.

"We are well placed in the world\’s most attractive markets, winning market share, growing income and profits, and creating value for our shareholders."

He added: "This has been a strong year for the group, with good growth in volumes as we take market share from our competitors."

Standard Chartered, which derives the lion\’s share of its income from emerging markets, said it had also made a record start to 2011.

"We start 2011 strongly with the balance sheet in excellent shape, with good momentum and with volume growth in both businesses. We have had a record January, both in terms of income and profit," said Sands

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Turning to ongoing unrest in the Middle East and North Africa region, he acknowledged that the bank was facing "challenges" from the turmoil.

"We also face challenges in some markets from political turmoil, most obviously in the Middle East and Africa.

"Thus far, the challenges here are more about protecting our staff and customers, rather than primarily financial, given that our businesses in the most affected countries tend to be rather small.

"And while rapid political change can be disruptive to business activity in the short term, it can also create opportunities."

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