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Standard Chartered: cautiously optimistic about the economy

( - Standard Chartered on Tuesday posted a third successive year of underlying earnings growth, and said that it is "cautiously optimistic" on the global macroeconomic environment.

The London-based bank said that its underlying pre-tax profit rose by 28% to 3.9 billion dollars in 2018, driven by its largest segments and regions.

Its board has recommended a final dividend of 15 cents per ordinary share, up 36% from 11 cents in 2017.

The bank's CET1 ratio - a measure of financial strength - increased 60 basis points to 14.2%, above the group's updated target range of 13-14%.

But the bank also admitted that the range of possible outcomes is "wider than it has been in a long time," citing operational and regulatory risks that could arise as a result of Brexit.

The group said that it has established a newly licensed entity in Frankfurt, which means that it will be able to continue to service its European clients post-Brexit.

Its shares are currently down 1.2%.

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