Standard Chartered says it remains committed to South Korea, even as the Asia-focused bank took a $1 billion hit in its half-year earnings from writedowns in the country.
While the lender's Asia CEO concedes that the outlook in the near-to-medium term is "quite bleak," the prospects for the long term are encouraging, and Stanchart is currently taking steps to "restructure" its Korean business.
"We are committed to Korea," Standard Chartered's CEO for Asia Jaspal Bindra told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.
"We are refocusing the core businesses, which might include sale of some non-core bits of it," he said. "But largely it is about positioning ourselves well for the turnaround, which however distant it might look, is not going to be forever in this situation," he added.
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The bank on Tuesday posted a $861 million pretax loss in Korea for the first half, on loan losses and provisions for souring debt, which dragged down its group pretax profit by 16 percent to $3.3 billion.
South Korea has been problematic for the London-based bank ever since it first acquired local bank First Bank in 2005 for $3.3 billion, its largest ever acquisition. A long-running dispute with staff there and a struggle dealing with tough regulations have hindered business, Reuters reported.