Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Standard Chartered: Fresh Meat?

In the latest of a wave of hostile takeover bids, emerging markets bank Standard Chartered is fresh meat — and investors, including JPMorgan Chase, are said hungry.

Lauren Burke | Digital Vision | Getty Images

With an eye on expansion into the Far East — one of StanChart’s biggest markets — JPMorgan is rumored to have its sights on buying out the bank.The estimated price tag? In the realm of $79 billion. But is the bank’s pledge to raise $5.3 billion ahead of Basel-III rules a clear sign that this stand is “not for sale?”

"What the rights issue is about," StanChart CFO Richard Meddings told me in a first-time interview on CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange,” is safeguarding StanChart’s “ability to serve our customers in markets which are very strongly growing." In other words, "no comment," but I had to ask, of course.

He said that the rights issue is done from “a position of strength” following a Q3 trading update “which continues to build on the last seven years of record profit and record income.” In an announcement earlier this week, the bank said its trade volumes are almost back to pre-crisis levels.