Standard Chartered Said to Rebuff Sale of Africa Unit

Standard Chartered Said to Rebuff Africa Unit Approach in 2014

Standard Chartered Plc, the U.K. lender under pressure to reverse two years of declining earnings, rebuffed at least one potential buyer of its African operations last year, according to two people with knowledge of the talks.

The bank received an unsolicited, informal expression of interest for the division, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. They declined to identify the group. Standard Chartered wasn’t interested in selling the business, said the people.

Standard Chartered Chief Executive Officer Peter Sands , 53, has come under pressure from investors amid a 29 percent slump in the shares in 2014. The London-based bank, which gets about three-quarters of its earnings in Asia , last week announced plans to cut about $400 million by eliminating 4,000 jobs and shutting equities trading to revive earnings.

“The business in Africa is basically a network of coverage guys with limited on-the-ground distribution, so it’s fairly difficult to sell it,” said Chirantan Barua, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, who rates the stock underperform. “On the flipside, there is nothing significant that they could sell today that would help the capital situation materially.” Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Officer Peter Sands speaks during […]

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