Standard Bank of South Africa Says Annual Earnings May Fall as Much as 12%

Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s biggest lender, said full-year profit may fall as much as 12 percent as revenue came under pressure and it incurred “substantial” costs to cut 1,745 jobs.

Earnings per share in the year to Dec. 31 are expected to be 3 percent to 12 percent lower than in 2009, the Johannesburg- based bank said in a stock-exchange statement today.

Standard Bank, which is 20 percent owned by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd., said on Oct. 29 it will cut 4 percent of its South African workforce and 13 percent of its London employees to prepare for a possible decline in revenue. First-half earnings climbed 15 percent.

“The pressures on banking revenues evident in the first six months of 2010 have intensified in the second half of 2010,” the company said. In addition, “the group will be incurring substantial retrenchment costs in the second half,” the bank said.

Standard Bank fell as much as 1.2 percent and was down 0.6 percent at 102.94 rand as of 10:28 a.m. in Johannesburg. That pared this year’s gain to 0.9 percent, the worst performance among South Africa’s big four banks.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nasreen Seria in Johannesburg at nseria@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net

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