(Dec 9): These are certainly disquieting times for Asia, not least because of the protracted US-China trade tensions, slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy and the prolonged unrest in Hong Kong.

Nevertheless, Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters, who says the banking group derives over 70% of its profit from Asia, remains upbeat. He is buoyed by the fact that the bank is not only more resilient to ride out the gloom, having strengthened its foundations since 2015, but also uniquely positioned to tap identified opportunities.

“Yes, there are plenty of challenges and we can expect that to continue for some time,” Winters tells The Edge Malaysia in an exclusive interview in Kuala Lumpur. “But the bulk of the world’s growth is still coming from Asia, and that is driven by demographics. Obviously, there are some sub-sets of our markets that are heading to that ageing-population point but broadly, the demographics are very supportive of long-term strong growth. China has slowed, but it’s still the world’s second-largest economy, growing at 6% — it’s a material contributor to global growth.

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