Standard Chartered gives up most of its gains as takeover talk denied

Standard Chartered gives up most of its gains as takeover talk denied
© Reuters

By Geoffrey Smith — Standard Chartered (OTC:SCBFF) stock endured a wild ride on Thursday after it was reported to be the subject of takeover interest from the Middle East – only for the alleged buyer to pour cold water on the report.

Shares in the emerging markets-focused bank rose over 20% after a report that First Abu Dhabi Bank wanted to buy it. The UAE-based institution quickly released a statement saying that while it had considered such a move, it was no longer in talks with StanChart over a bid.

By 10:00 ET (15:00 GMT), Standard Chartered stock had given up most of its gains but was still up 7.1% at a new post-pandemic high.

Under the management of former JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) stalwart Bill Winters, Standard Chartered has emerged in recent years from a long struggle with compliance and risk management problems to reassert its position as one of the leading banks in much of the emerging world. It expects full-year net income for 2022 to be up around 13% from 2021, and said in October that it may hit its target for a 10% return on equity before its target date of 2024.

StanChart’s presence in China and in Africa would allow FAB to expand its geographical footprint considerably, strengthening the financial links between some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. The stock had been supported in recent weeks by China’s abrupt change of policy toward the COVID-19 virus, allowing it to spread more or less unchallenged after three years of lockdowns failed to stamp out the virus and contain its many mutations.