StanChart faces probe in Hong Kong over IPO

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

HONG KONG: Stan­dard Char­tered (StanChart) could face “fi­nan­cial con­se­quences” af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in Hong Kong over its role in an ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing (IPO), the firm said as it re­ported an­other round of dis­ap­point­ing earn­ings re­sults, send­ing its share price tum­bling.

The Lon­don-based, Asia-fo­cused lender said au­thor­i­ties were look­ing into its con­duct while co-spon­sor­ing the list­ing in the city in 2009, deal­ing an­other le­gal blow to the firm, which is al­ready fac­ing a US probe.

“The group has been in­formed by the Hong Kong Se­cu­ri­ties and Fu­tures Com­mis­sion that it in­tends to take ac­tion against Stan­dard Char­tered Se­cu­ri­ties (Hong Kong) ... in re­la­tion to its role as a joint spon­sor of an ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing listed on the Hong Kong Stock Ex­change in 2009,” it said in its in­terim earn­ings re­port.

“If it does take ac­tion there may be fi­nan­cial con­se­quences” for the bank, it said in the re­port on Tues­day.

The an­nounce­ment came as it said pre-tax profit im­proved in the third quar­ter to Septem­ber but was still well short of ex­pec­ta­tions, while rev­enue was also be­low fore­cast.

Shares in the firm plunged 6.52% by the break in Hong Kong yes­ter­day. Its Lon­don-listed shares ended down 5.42%.

Last week Swiss gi­ant UBS said it could faced a fine and sus­pen­sion from spon­sor­ing IPOs in Hong Kong over a list­ing in the city.

Nei­ther bank said which IPO the ac­tions re­ferred to, but the Fi­nan­cial Times cited an un­named source as say­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tions cen­tred on the list­ing of China Forestry Hold­ings. – AFP

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