StanChart profits sag after $1 billion hit on Korea arm

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered took a $1 billion hit on the value of its Korean business on Tuesday, pulling its first half profits down nearly 16 percent from a year ago.

Standard Chartered, which is based in London but makes more than 90 percent of its profits in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, reported a pretax profit of $3.3 billion for the six months to the end of June, down from $3.9 billion a year ago due to the Korea writedown.

The bank said Korea remains its most difficult market and it was writing down the value of the business, which it has had trouble with since buying First Bank in 2005 for $3.3 billion.

(Read more: Carson Block: why we are betting against StanChart)

It said in June it would more aggressively restructure the business and assess whether to write off some of the $1.85 billion goodwill value assigned to it.

(Watch: Is Standard Chartered under pressure?)

Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld