MARKET REPORT: China property write-off hits Standard Chartered

Shares in Standard Chartered sank as the bank’s exposure to China’s property market was laid bare.

The FTSE 100 lender took a £154m charge on its assets in Chinese real estate amid concerns surrounding the sector.

The Asia-focused firm also slashed the value of its investment in China Bohai Bank, in which it has a 16 per cent stake, by £578m.

Profit tumbled 54 per cent to £523m in the three months to the end of September, far short on the £1.18billion analysts expected.

Susannah Streeter, at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘Its exposure to China, where it’s expanded rapidly, is its weakest link, with the real estate sector buckling under a mountain of debt.

Hit: Profit tumbled 54 per cent to £523m in the three months to the end of September

‘There may be hopes that the big stimulus plan announced will provide the medicine needed but authorities have been at pains to point out it’s not designed to prop up the troubled property sector.’

Shares plunged 12.4 per cent, or 88.8p, to 625.2p. The stock soared 20 per cent in January after reports that the largest bank in the UAE was considering a takeover bid. But First Abu Dhabi Bank decided against making a formal offer.

Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at AJ Bell, said: ‘It looks increasingly vulnerable to a takeover, with First Abu Dhabi freed from UK takeover restrictions preventing it from returning with a bid. If it does have another crack it may well find it can do so at a cheaper price.’

The FTSE 100 fell 0.8 per cent, or 59.77 points, to 7354.57 and the FTSE 250 was down 0.5 per cent, or 87.62 points, to 16,783.098. The European Central Bank held interest rates for the first time in more than a year as the single currency bloc’s

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