September 17, 2012 / 10:28 AM / in 5 years

StanChart wholesale arm eyes $10 bln profit by 2016

LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered said it expects to double profit in its core wholesale bank to more than $10 billion in the next 4-5 years, marking a slowdown from the past decade but still a growth rate most rivals would envy.

“It’s not unreasonable for us to be looking at a $10 billion (operating profit) number (in 2016),” said Mike Rees, head of wholesale banking.

“We firmly believe that is not an unreasonable aspiration for us to have if you look at the potential.”

Wholesale banking, which includes its investment banking operations, accounts for more than three-quarters of Standard Chartered’s profit and has underpinned its strong growth in the past decade.

The unit made a record $5.2 billion profit last year, up from $800 million in 2002 for compound annual growth of 23 percent. Its profit has typically doubled every three years, and Rees said he expects it to double again by 2016.

The past pace of growth is unsustainable as competition stiffens, regulation costs increase and the slowdown in western economic growth has slowed, he said in a presentation to analysts and investors at a strategy day on Monday.

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