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HSBC confirms dividend as first-half profits more than double

·3-min read

HSBC has said it will pay an interim dividend to shareholders after revealing that profits more than doubled for the latest half-year.

The banking giant told investors on Monday that pre-tax profits soared to 10.8 billion US dollars (£7.8 billion) for the six months to June, compared with 4.3 billion dollars (£3.1 billion) for the same period in 2020.

The profit figure came in significantly ahead of analysts’ expectations, with experts predicting around 9.4 billion dollars (£6.8 billion) in profit.

HSBC said it was buoyed by profit growth across all regions, highlighting growth in Asia and strong profits in its UK bank.

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Meanwhile, company revenues were down 4.5% to 25.5 billion dollars (£18.4 billion) compared with the same period last year.

It said this was driven by lower interest rates and reduced sales through its markets and security services operation.

The bank announced that it would hand shareholders an interim dividend of 0.07 dollars (5p) per ordinary share after payouts were put on hold during the pandemic.

Group chief executive Noel Quinn said: “These are good results that reflect the return of growth in our main markets and marked progress in the execution of our strategy.

“I’m pleased with the momentum generated around our growth and transformation plans, with good delivery against all four pillars of our strategy.

“In particular, we have taken firm steps to define the future of our US and continental Europe businesses, and further enhanced our global wealth capabilities.

“We are focused on executing the growth and transformation plans we announced in February.”

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Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The banking bounceback has continued, with HSBC doubling first-half pre-tax profits as economies come out of their defensive hiding places and the spectre of bad debt recedes.

“As well as expanding its overall wealth business, the bank has been shifting to Asia to try and sniff out higher returns, moving capital investment and staff from Europe and the US.

“Although recovery in the region has so far been good news for HSBC’s profits, it has faced reputational headwinds over accusations it was too close to Chinese authorities which have cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

“Worries are now rife that there could be a downturn in investment due to Beijing’s crackdown on tech and online educational firms in particular.”

Shares in the firm were 1.9% higher during early trading in London on Monday.

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