- Standard Chartered posted an increase in profits for the first half of 2019 and said it was 'confident' it could achieve targets outlined in February, but warned of uncertainty surrounding trade and geopolitical risks.

It posted an 11% increase in underlying profit to $2.6bn for the six months to 30 June.

It also said it had completed around $740m of its $1bn buy-back programme as at 26 July.

'We have made encouraging progress addressing performance in the four lower-returning markets we referenced in our full-year results. There is a long way to go but the profit we generated in aggregate in those markets improved 14% compared with the first half of 2018, driven by actions intended to further improve the quality and sustainability of our businesses there,' said group chief executive Bill Winters.

Looking forward, the company said it was 'alert' to the opportunities and risks created by the eastward shift in the global economic centre of gravity amid ongoing China-US tensions and geopolitical pressures.

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