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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Standard Chartered falls 5% after unveiling first quarter profit fall

Category : Business

Asia-focused bank hit by problems in Korea, rising bad debts and staff costs

Standard Chartered has disappointed investors with a drop in first quarter profits, making the Asia-focused bank the biggest faller in the leading index.

It said both commercial and wholesale banking operating profits were down by around 5% – “down by a mid single digit percentage” – hit by increased loan impairments after problems in Korea, an increase in bad debts, and rising costs after recruiting 560 staff in the quarter.

Its shares have dropped 91.5p to 1608.5p on the news, down 5.38%. But the bank said it had started the second quarter with April income back at the trend level and it remained comfortable with forecasts for the full year. Analysts were also positive. Ian Gordon at Investec said:

At first blush there are plenty of hooks for bears in this morning’s statement, which will likely trigger a sharp sell-off today. However, this requires implicit rejection of management’s reaffirmation of comfort with a 2013 consensus pretax profit forecast of $8.2bn (up 19% year on year). We are 1% below ($8.1bn). Weakness today should be seen as an opportunity.

Gary Greenwood at Shore Capital said:

Standard Chartered has issued a relatively downbeat first quarter trading statement in which it reports that group operating profit was “slightly down” for the period versus the prior year comparative. This was primarily owing to weak revenue performance with income only “slightly ahead” of the prior year comparative owing to margin pressure in trade finance and lower ALM (asset liability management) income. The prior year comparative was also strong, notably in principal finance. In our view, this reflects increased competition from foreign banks (notably French and Japanese) and the impact of ongoing monetary policy action, in our view, notably impacting on performance in March.

The outlook is more encouraging, with the company noting on the analysts’ conference call that growth in income and profit was back at “trend levels” in April (i.e. double-digit) and that management therefore remains comfortable with full year consensus (statutory) forecasts despite the weak first quarter performance.

We believe recent share price weakness associated with concerns around current trading should be used as an opportunity to pick up stock.

Overall the FTSE 100 has paused for breath after hitting a new five year high on Tuesday, edging up 0.60 points to 6557.90.

J Sainsbury has slipped 2.9p to 393.6p as investors decided to cash in after a 6.2% rise in full year profits.

Accountancy software specialist Sage has climbed 6.3p to 345.6p following a 6% profit increase.

A number of companies have seen their shares go ex-dividend including Antofagasta, down 50p at 939.5p.

Among the mid-caps, hedge fund group Man has fallen 4p to 121.5p after a 0.1% dip in its key AHL fund last week.

China’s trade growth accelerates

Category : Business, World News

China’s trade growth accelerates in April, beating analysts’ expectations, a positive sign for the country’s fragile economic recovery.

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Walt Disney results beat predictions

Category : World News

Walt Disney’s results have beaten analysts’ expectations, thanks to strong earnings at its movie and sports TV divisions.

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Tablet computer sales are soaring

Category : World News

Analysts say sales of tablet computers globally are soaring, but Blackberry boss claims the format will be dead within five years.

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BP’s profits fall in first quarter

Category : Business, World News

Oil giant BP reports a fall in underlying profits for the first three months of the year, but the figure still beat analysts’ expectations.

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Redbox gets green light from investors

Category : Business

Shares of Redbox owner Coinstar rallied after the company trumped earnings forecasts, though some traders and analysts remain wary.

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VIDEO: Apple results may reveal profits fall

Category : Business, World News

Apple will report its latest set of results on Tuesday, and analysts say it will reveal first fall in profits in a decade.

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Citigroup profit spikes 30%

Category : Business, Stocks

The long embattled bank finally bests analysts quarterly estimates beating on both revenue and profit.

Continued here: Citigroup profit spikes 30%

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China’s growth lower than forecast

Category : World News

China’s economy, the world’s second-largest, performs worse than many analysts had expected in the first three months of the year.

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Nike shares jump on strong earnings

Category : Business, World News

Nike’s quarterly profits beat analysts’ forecasts as a recovery in US sales and lower material costs help offset continued weakness in China.

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