Bank unveils share buyback

Slowdown prompts 29% profits fall at HSBC

HSBCProfits plunged by almost a third at HSBC as Europe’s biggest bank was hit by slower growth in Britain and Hong Kong.

It surprised analysts by announcing a plan to buy back up to $2.5 billion of shares.

Pretax profit in the six months to the end of June fell 29% from $13.6 billion last year to $9.7bn.

The bank suffered from uncertainty in Europe and the slowdown in China which together account for half the bank’s revenue. Asia accounted for 83.5% of its global pre-tax profit last year.

Chairman Douglas Flint said: “Concern over the sustainable level of economic growth in China was the most significant feature of the first quarter and, as this moderated, uncertainty over the upcoming UK referendum on membership of the European Union intensified.”

Group chief executive Stuart Gulliver added: “We performed reasonably well in the first half. I am particularly pleased with our progress in reducing costs and continuing to reduce risk-weighted assets.

“Our highly diversified, universal banking business model helped to drive growth in a number of areas and we captured market share in many of the product categories that are central to our strategy.

“While economic conditions remain difficult, we are making progress in all of the areas within our control.

“Following the outcome of the referendum there has been a period of volatility and uncertainty which is likely to continue for some time.

“We are actively monitoring our portfolio to quickly identify any areas of stress, however it is still too early to tell which parts may be impacted and to what extent.”


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