StanChart Kenya earnings soar, soaring oil prices cloud outlook


A pre-colonial era monument stands along Kenyatta Avenue outside the Standard Chartered Bank in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, file. . REUTERS/Noor Khamis/File photo

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NAIROBI, March 14 (Reuters) – Standard Chartered Bank Kenya said on Monday its pre-tax profit soared 70% last year to a five-year high, but soaring energy prices due to of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and other factors clouded the outlook.

The lender, which is controlled by Standard Chartered Plc (STAN.L), posted a pre-tax profit of 12.6 billion shillings ($110.4 million) as net impairment losses nearly halved with easing of COVID-related restrictions.

“Some of the optimism we had has been tempered somewhat by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” chief executive Kariuki Ngari said during an investor briefing.

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Kenya, like other oil importers, has felt the impact of soaring crude prices as the West tightens sanctions on Russia.

StanChart, one of the East African nation’s oldest banks, has shifted to wealth management in recent years, gaining an edge over bigger rivals like KCB Group and Equity (EQTY .NR), which have great leads in the mass market.

Stanchart said its non-interest revenue, the share of revenue from transactions, rose by a quarter during the year, helped by its wealth management and capital markets businesses.

“We are no longer limited to savings and fixed deposits,” Ngari said, adding that clients are investing in local bonds and stocks in foreign markets through StanChart’s platform, as part of this diversification strategy. .

StanChart had 131 billion shillings under management last year, he said. It employs 100 licensed wealth management advisors.

The bank’s net losses from bad debts narrowed as the government removed restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, including an overnight curfew, allowing struggling borrowers to start repaying their loans , said chief financial officer Chemutai Murgor.

The bank increased the total dividend for the period by 81% to 19 shillings per share.

($1 = 114.1000 Kenyan shillings)

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Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Edmund Blair

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