StockMarketWire.com - Standard Chartered saw underlying pre-tax profit down 25% to $1.95bn for the first half of 2020 driven by higher credit impairment and warned low interest rates and depressed oil prices will 'continue to be headwinds'.

It said that credit impairment was lower quarter on quarter in Q2 but up significantly year on year to $1.6bn, driven primarily by the impact of COVID-19.

Standard Chartered reported that Stage 1 and 2 impairment increased $586m in the first half to $668m, while Stage 3 impairment rose $727m in the first half to $899m, with no significant new exposures in the second quarter.

The company announced statutory pre-tax profit fell 33% to $1.6bn, which included $249m of goodwill impairment in India in the first quarter of 2020.

Operating income in the first half of 2020 rose 5% to $8bn.

The group's CET1 ratio rose to 14.3%, above the top end of its medium-term target range, while its assets-to-deposits ratio reduced to 62.7% and its liquidity coverage ratio has increased to 149%.

Group chief executive Bill Winters said: 'Despite having taken significantly higher impairment charges we remained profitable and enter the next phase of the crisis with our CET1 capital ratio at one of the highest levels for many years.'

But he warned that 'low interest rates and depressed oil prices continue to be headwinds and we expect new waves of COVID-19 related challenge in the coming quarters'.

At 9:44am: [LON:STAN] Standard Chartered PLC share price was -14.15p at 406.15p



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