Standard Bank had started legal proceedings in China to secure about $170 million (R1.8 billion) worth of aluminium that was held in bonded warehouses, Africa’s largest lender said yesterday. The bank’s UK unit, which trades commodities, said it was seeking to “protect its position” in regard to the stocks at Qingdao Port and an additional $40m worth of aluminium at other warehouses in Shandong province. Three people with direct knowledge of the issue said last month that Qingdao Port was counting industrial metals held in some of its bonded warehouses to determine if they matched the amount in documents pledged to banks as collateral for loans. Standard Bank, which is 20 percent owned by the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, said “the financial consequences of these exposures remain subject to assessment and will be addressed” in interim results due on August 14. The shares fell 1.69 percent to R144.50 on the JSE. – Bloomberg