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Foreign Exchange

StanChart stays in the billionaire club

It’s a bit of a funny bank, Standard Chartered. Even those who work there have been heard to joke about how their peers dismiss it as a niche Asian player. But revenge is sweet. It’s no secret that in the past, many high-calibre individuals turned down jobs at the bank to work for higher-profile, but what are now far smaller institutions. But if perceptions change slowly, there can be no lingering doubt that the bank is serious player in FX with the release of its results for 2008.

In 2007, StanChart’s revenues from its FX business broke the $1 billion barrier for the first time. This has proved no fluke and it’s almost amusing to read how StanChart says in its 2008 annual earnings report that revenues “only” grew 17% to $1.194 billion; further growth was, “adversely impacted by provisions raised in relation to model and counterparty risk.”

 

Overall, StanChart’s income from its financial markets operation came in at $2.365 billion. So FX accounted for 50% of the division’s revenue. That reinforces just how important the asset has become.

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