International Finance

Indonesia lynchpin of Standard Chartered 2021 returns target

Standard Chartered’s operating profit in Indonesia is up by 28% in H1 2019 year-on-year

Standard Chartered Bank is on track to meet its returns target in ASEAN and Southeast Asia by boosting its Indonesian business. It’s operating profit in Indonesia increased by 28 percent in the first six months of 2019 when compared to the same period last year. It can be attributed to the growth in corporate and institutional banking in Indonesia.

Indonesia is one of the four turnaround markets in Asia for Standard Chartered.  Indonesia’s digital economy market is estimated to reach $100 billion by 2025. A strong performance in Indonesia would help the bank achieve its 2021 returns target.

The bank is shifting its focus towards more capital-light businesses such as wealth management, deposits, and liquidity management to boost its return on tangible equity. Income from capital-light businesses accounted for 60 percent of the bank’s total income from the region, during the first six months.

Standard Chartered is also in search of an e-commerce partner to further expand its retail-banking segment in Indonesia and improve its overall returns.

Judy Hsu, Standard Chartered’s regional chief executive for ASEAN and Southeast Asia told the media that,” There are a lot of these big unicorns in Indonesia with a huge e-commerce client base. In partnering with them, we can be the bank that is the engine for Indonesia’s e-commerce world. Just launching a digital bank doesn’t mean people will bank with you. It’s important to have partnerships.”

According to reports, Standard Chartered Bank is considering applying for a digital bank licence in Singapore. The bank is in talks with potential partners as it can’t apply for the licence alone. The bank is already in the process of acquiring a digital bank licence in Hong Kong.

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