Standard Bank profit to dive

Johannesburg - Standard Bank Group [JSE:SBK] advised on Thursday that for the year ending December 2010, it expects its earnings per share, headline earnings per share (HEPS) and diluted HEPS to be between 3% and 12% lower than the same earnings figures for the year ended December 2009, calculated both on a normalised basis and on an International Financial Reporting Standards basis.

Normalised earnings reflect the legal and economic substance of the group's black ownership initiative and of deemed treasury shares held for the benefit of Liberty policyholders and to facilitate client trading activities.

The group said the pressures on banking revenues evident in the first six months of 2010 have intensified in the second half of 2010. In addition, the group will be incurring substantial retrenchment costs in the second half of 2010.

Standard Bank and the banking union Sasbo are currently engaged in a legal battle over the bank's retrenchment of more than 1 000 permanent employees. In November, the Labour Court ordered the bank to provide Sasbo with more information on how the retrenchments would save costs, compared to other alternatives.

Standard Bank Group will be releasing its annual results on March 3 2011.
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