- Standard Chartered has seen an 18% increase in its pre-tax profits during the first quarter, as it recovers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the first three months of 2021, the company's pre-tax profit was $1.4 billion, compared with $1.2 billion in 2020, driven by a strong performance in its markets business.

The company said it expects income to start growing again in the second half of the year, with income for 2021 to be broadly similar to that achieved in 2020. It anticipates a return to its medium-term guidance of between 5-7% growth from 2022.

Bill Winters, group chief executive, said: 'Our first quarter performance was strong. Economic recovery advanced in many of our markets leading to improved transaction volumes and profitability. This was particularly the case in our financial markets and in wealth management, which had its best ever quarter.

'Our areas of strategic focus including efforts to lead with a differentiated sustainability offering are growing well. Despite low interest rates, we expect our underlying momentum to lead to income growth in the second half of 2021.'

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