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Standard Chartered Holds No Sovereign Debt in Troubled EU States

Standard Chartered Plc, the U.K.’s third-largest bank by market value, said it no longer holds government debt in troubled euro-area countries.

“We have no sovereign exposure to those eurozone countries that are clearly in trouble,” Finance Director Richard Meddings said on a call with journalists today. He didn’t name the countries. “Over the last 18 months we’ve been reducing our eurozone exposures to the financial institutions and we’ve been shifting away predominantly into Asian governments and supranationals.”

The eurozone may suffer its first sovereign default tomorrow if the Greek parliament votes against an austerity package. Bond yields of the euro area’s highly indebted nations, including Portugal, Italy and Ireland, jumped to records relative to German bunds amid concern about a Greek default.

Standard Chartered earns three quarters of its profit in Asia, where it traces its roots to 19th century British colonial banks. The lender is 15.5 percent-owned by Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state investment company, according to Bloomberg data.

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