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StanChart restarts dividends after posting FY'17 profit

Standard Chartered Plc is restarting its dividend payments after swinging back to profit in 2017.

The Britain-headquartered bank's board recommended an ordinary equity share dividend for 2017 of 11 U.S. cents per share, having paid none for the previous year. Full-year 2017 profit attributable to parent company shareholders amounted to $1.22 billion, or 23.3 cents per share, compared to a loss of $247 million, or a loss of 14.5 cents per share, in 2016.

Pretax profit for the year came in at $2.42 billion, compared to the year-ago $409 million. The increase in tax charge for the year to $1.15 billion from the year-ago $600 million reflected a $220 million charge due to the revaluation of the bank's deferred tax assets in the U.S. as a result of recent tax reforms as well as nondeductible expenses amounting to $217 million, among others.

Net interest income rose on a yearly basis to $8.18 billion from $7.79 billion, while net fee and commission income also increased over the period to $3.51 billion from $3.23 billion. StanChart booked impairment losses on loans and advances and other credit risk provisions of $1.36 billion, narrowing from the year-ago $2.79 billion.

Return on equity came in at 1.7% in 2017, compared to negative 1.1% a year ago. The net interest margin ticked up to 1.6% from 1.5% year over year.

StanChart's common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 13.6% at 2017-end, unchanged from a year ago. The bank said the adoption of IFRS 9 accounting standards at the start of 2018 led to an increase in credit provisions of $1.2 billion and an estimated decrease in the CET1 ratio by about 15 basis points.

The dividend will be paid May 17 to shareholders on the U.K. and India registers March 9. StanChart said it intends to increase the dividend per share over time as its performance improves.