Banking giant Standard Chartered on Tuesday announced a return of dividends for shareholders after a two-year hiatus as it reported a surge in annual profits following restructuring and cutbacks.

The Asia-focused lender said it would pay out a full-year dividend of 11 cents per share, citing “improving financial performance and strong capital”.

It also said pre-tax profit jumped 175 percent on-year to US$3.01 billion (HK$23 billion) in 2017.

Standard Chartered.

Shares in the firm rose almost two percent in afternoon Hong Kong trading, having been in negative territory before the results were announced during the break.

Standard Chartered swung back to profit in 2016, a year after scoring its first annual loss for more than a quarter of a century as it struggled to cope with the effect of bad debts.

Chief executive Bill Winters described the performance as “steady rather than spectacular” but said it had improved significantly.

Winters replaced former CEO Peter Sands in 2015 after shareholder calls for a boardroom cull in response to profit warnings.

The London-based bank announced 15,000 job cuts around the world that year and said it would exit or restructure US$100 billion of assets to refocus on affluent retail clients.

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