Standard Chartered Plc is resuming interim dividends and starting a share buyback after reduced credit losses helped it beat estimates in the second quarter, the latest bank to bolster payouts as the economic outlook improves.

The London-headquartered lender made an underlying pretax profit of US$1.24 billion, ahead of analyst estimates. Boosting Standard Chartered was a release of loan provisions, compared with a US$611 million reserve a year ago.

“The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is uneven and volatile, though encouragingly the trends we see as we exit the quarter are more positive in our bigger markets,” the bank said in its earnings statement. The lender, whose profit driver continues to be in Asia, is also expecting full-year 2021 income to be in line with that of the previous year.

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