Standard Bank Starts Legal Proceedings in China as Aluminum Held

Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s largest lender, started legal proceedings in China after about $170 million-worth of aluminum was held in bonded warehouses.

The bank’s U.K. unit, which trades commodities, is seeking to “protect its position” in regard to the stocks at Qingdao Port and an additional $40 million-worth of aluminum at other locations in Shandong province, it said in a statement today.

Qingdao Port is counting industrial metals held in some of its bonded warehouses to determine if they match the amount in documents pledged to banks as collateral for loans, three people with direct knowledge of the probe said in June.

Standard Bank, which has operations in Beijing and is 20 percent owned by the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., is involved in commodities trading in regions including China, South Africa and London.

“The financial consequences of these exposures remain subject to assessment and will be addressed in the group’s interim results” on Aug. 14, the Johannesburg-based lender said.

The shares fell 1 percent to 145.48 rand as of 9:15 a.m. in Johannesburg trading, the biggest intraday drop in a week.

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