Top StanChart investor backs under-fire management

 Top StanChart investor backs under-fire management

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered’s second-biggest shareholder has backed the Asia-focused bank’s under-fire management and said there is nothing fundamentally wrong with its business.

“We believe that the current management of Standard Chartered, led by Sir John Peace and Peter Sands, should be given the opportunity to address the bank’s current issues and deal with them now,” Martin Gilbert, CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management, said in a statement.

Aberdeen holds an 8.4 percent stake in StanChart worth almost 2 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) at current prices.

The bank last week issued its third profit warning of the year after a surge in bad loans, sending its shares to their lowest level for five years and adding to pressure on Chairman Peace and CEO Sands to revive its fortunes after two grim years.

Its shares have fallen 31 percent this year.

U.S. authorities are also investigating the bank for potential U.S. sanctions violations connected to its banking for Iranian-controlled entities in Dubai, according to people familiar with the probe.

“We don’t believe there is anything fundamentally wrong with the bank and we are looking forward to hearing details of the turnaround plans at the investor conference in Hong Kong in two weeks’ time,” Gilbert said.

(1 US dollar = 0.6255 British pound)

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