HSBC first half profit more than doubles
HSBC’s profits more than doubled in the first half of its financial year to beat estimates as it said it would resume dividend payments.
Reported profit before tax surged by $6.5bn (£4.7bn) to $10.8bn as it benefited from strong economic growth in the UK and Hong Kong despite political blowback over its pivot to Asia, where it makes 90pc of its profits.
The lender paid a dividend of $0.07 per share, or a total $1.4bn, after suspending payouts along with other banks during the pandemic.
Chief executive Noel Quinn, whose restructuring plan saw 35,000 jobs cut as the bank refocused on Asia and the Middle East, said: “We were profitable in every region in the first half of the year, supported by the release of expected credit loss provisions. Our lending pipeline began to translate into business growth in the second quarter and we further strengthened that pipeline during the half.”
5 things to start your day
1) Hollywood giant lines up £700m Hertfordshire movie studio: Hudson Pacific Properties has joined forces with investment giant Blackstone to build a 91-acre facility in Broxbourne, to rival Pinewood Studios
2) Remote roles spike as bosses bow to demands for flexibility: One in 10 job listings in the UK are currently for remote roles compared with just 3.5pc before the pandemic
3) Turbulence at Heathrow as third of top team exit: Three members of the executive committee quit as the airport struggles with Covid travel restrictions
4) Kent family picks buyer for orchard empire: Britain’s second biggest apple supplier over five generations has sold up for £15.7m, after harvesting pandemic losses.
5) Competition enforcer examines claims of shipping price gouging: The price of a shipping container from Asia has surged from about $2,000 last November to over $13,000
What happened overnight
Asian stocks started the week higher on Monday, even as China reported a slowdown in manufacturing activity and countries in the region continued to be hammered by the delta variant.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.7pc to 27,742.28, while the Kospi in Seoul rose 0.1pc to 3,205.43. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 0.9pc to 26,189.44 after being in the red for much of the morning.
The Shanghai Composite index added 0.7pc to 3,422.64, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 1.5pc at 7,501.20. The benchmark in Malaysia rose while those in Singapore and Indonesia fell.
The gains in China follow data released on Saturday by the National Bureau of Statistics showing the country’s official purchasing managers’ index fell to 50.4 in July from 50.9 in June. Numbers above 50 indicate expansion on the 100-point scale.
Jack Dorsey’s Silicon Valley payments company Square has agreed to pay $29bn to acquire Australian Buy Now Pay Later firm Afterpay.
Coming up today
- Corporate: SBC, XP Power, Senior (Interim results)
- Economics: Manufacturing PMI (UK, Europe, US, Asia); retail sales (Germany)