March 30, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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HSBC reported pre-tax profit of $5.2 billion for the final three months of last year, beating analysts’ expectations, and said it would consider giving shareholders a special dividend when it completes the sale of its Canadian business.

Profits for the London-listed bank are up more than 90 per cent from the same period last year as higher interest rates boosted revenue.

However, the bank’s full-year pretax profit fell by $1.4 billion, due in part to weakness in the planned sale of its retail banking operations in France.

“2022 has been another good year for HSBC,” Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn said, adding: “We have completed Phase 1 of our transformation and our international connection is now supported by healthy and widespread profit generation across the world.”

The bank approved a total dividend of 32 cents per share for 2022 and said the special dividend would be a “priority use of the proceeds” from the sale of its Canadian business to the Royal Bank of Canada for $10 billion.

Net interest income rose to $32.6 billion for the full year, up from $26 billion in 2021, in a sign of the extent to which higher interest rates have helped boost bank profits. HSBC, one of the largest deposit-taking institutions in the world, is particularly sensitive to changes in rates.

The bank reported expected credit losses of $3.6 billion and a further decline in value for the year, which it said reflected “increasing economic uncertainty.” [from] Inflation, high interest rates and supply chain risks “in addition to China’s real estate crisis.

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