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Last News | HSBC annual results: Bank pushes even harder in Asia and wants to bring back its dividend

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The bank – which still has its headquarters in London even though it makes most of its money in Asia – told investors on Tuesday it planned to “increase” its investments in the region by around $ 6 billion. It also allows more resources to be transferred there, including moving some key staff.

HSBC (HSBC) described Greater China, Southeast Asia and India as the “main engines” of its future growth. In particular, it wishes to strengthen its presence in mainland China, defend its leadership position in Hong Kong and make Singapore a hub for wealth management.
It’s a plan that focuses on a continent that made over 80% of HSBC’s profits before the pandemic. Last year Asia “was again by far the most profitable region,” President Mark Tucker said in a statement.

The continued focus on Asia came when HSBC announced that its pre-tax profit fell to $ 8.8 billion last year, a drop of 34% from the previous year. Revenue, meanwhile, fell 10% to $ 50.4 billion.

Still, it was still better than analysts had expected. And the bank announced Tuesday its intention to restore its dividend “at the first opportunity”, from 15 cents per share.

Like other lenders, HSBC was forced to withdraw its dividend last year at the behest of UK regulators. The Bank of England relaxed some of these guidelines in December.

“It was a difficult decision and we deeply regret the impact it has had on our shareholders,” Tucker said in his statement, adding that the board had “adopted a policy designed to deliver sustainable dividends going forward. “.

HSBC stock rose 2.2% in Hong Kong on Tuesday before retreating somewhat.

There is also growing speculation that the company will be moving part of its business to other regions as it strives to cut costs. This week, for example, the Financial Times reported that HSBC would abandon its retail banking network in the United States. HSBC did not confirm this report in its presentation of the results, saying that “we continue to explore strategic options regarding our retail franchise in the United States.”

However, the bank revealed in its results that it was in talks to sell its retail subsidiary in France.

“[We] are in negotiations for a potential sale although no decision has yet been made, “he said.” If a sale is implemented, given the underlying performance of the French retail business, a loss on the sale is expected. “

– This is a developing story and will be updated.

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