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StanChart to sell South Korean units

Standard Chartered Bank said it would sell two South Korean units to Japan’s J Trust for about $148 million as part of an effort to stem losses and narrow its operations in the country. The bank put Standard Chartered Savings Bank and Standard Chartered Capital Korea on the block last year after writing down the value of its business in the country by $1 billion. The sale price for the two units, which offer niche savings products and consumer loans and operate separately from Standard Chartered’s much-bigger South Korea retail bank, is about 10% less than their book value. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. Ajay Kanwal, Standard Chartered Korea’s chief executive, said that transactions are part of the bank’s strategy to reshape its business in Korea, as it improves returns by focusing on the client segments and products where it is competitively differentiated. Standard Chartered announced a revamp of its global operations in January to make greater returns from existing clients and find ways to reach new ones.

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