HSBA.L - HSBC Holdings plc

LSE - LSE Delayed price. Currency in GBp
589.70
+15.10 (+2.63%)
As of 2:28PM GMT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close574.60
Open576.00
Bid589.70 x 0
Ask590.10 x 0
Day's range574.86 - 590.70
52-week range0.78 - 687.70
Volume8409124
Avg. volume28,321,422
Market cap120B
Beta (5Y Monthly)0.56
PE ratio (TTM)9.16
EPS (TTM)64.40
Earnings date17 Feb 2020
Forward dividend & yield0.31 (5.41%)
Ex-dividend date2019-10-10
1y target est9.20
  • Pound Rally Holds Up as Traders Look Through Gloomy U.K. Data
    Bloomberg

    Pound Rally Holds Up as Traders Look Through Gloomy U.K. Data

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.The pound rallied a second day even after disappointing data, as the gloomy economic picture was offset by lingering optimism following the Conservatives’ election victory.Sterling strengthened versus most Group-of-10 peers despite U.K. factories posting their weakest performance in more than seven years. The currency earlier advanced as much as 0.7% after Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak said the government plans to put legislation before Parliament before Christmas to ensure Brexit goes ahead next month.“As expected, the U.K. PMIs came in a tad underwhelming,” said Valentin Marinov, head of Group-of-10 currency strategy at Credit Agricole SA. “In all, I think investors will ignore the data and focus on the new Boris cabinet which should be announced later today and could give us some clues about the likely strategy as we approach the trade negotiations with the EU. The pound remains a buy on dips.”The pound has recovered significant ground since the election result but with one big barrier removed, the question now is how much further the rally can run. Investors will probably need to see improving economic data or progress in the next stage of talks with the EU to meet the most bullish forecasts, which call for a rally to $1.40 or beyond.Sterling gained 0.3% to $1.3373 as of 12:21 p.m. in London after surging as much as 2.7% on Friday to $1.3514, the strongest since May 2018. It strengthened 0.1% to 83.33 pence per euro. Analysis from ING Groep NV predicted that price action in the pound should stabilize, with the bank forecasting a trading range of between $1.3200 and $1.3520 next week.What NextCurrency strategists at HSBC Holdings Plc see the biggest surge in the pound since 2017 as only the start of the rally. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to boost spending should give the economy a shot in the arm and help the pound to $1.45 by the fourth quarter of 2020, the strategists said in a note dated Thursday.The bank’s rates team has a very different view on the U.K.’s economic prospects. For head of U.K. rates strrategy Daniela Russell, the weak incoming economic data supports the case for a Bank of England rate cut next May and, along with continued Brexit uncertainty, will likely push government bond yields down to 0.40% by the end of 2020.The U.K. currency is being pushed higher by hedge funds, according to an Asia-based currency trader, who asked not be named because the person is not authorized to speak publicly. Most clients are confident that Johnson will successfully execute Brexit with the EU and reach a free-trade agreement with the U.S., the trader said.A Citigroup Inc. index indicated currency funds have almost completely unwound their bearish bets on sterling. The latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission shows asset managers also flipped from a net short to net long the pound before the election, with the data covering the week to Dec. 10.(Updates pricing, adds context from sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Michael G. Wilson and Ruth Carson.To contact the reporters on this story: Masaki Kondo in Tokyo at mkondo3@bloomberg.net;Charlotte Ryan in London at cryan147@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tan Hwee Ann at hatan@bloomberg.net, Nicholas Reynolds, William ShawFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China’s State Grid Nears Oman Electricity Stake Purchase
    Bloomberg

    China’s State Grid Nears Oman Electricity Stake Purchase

    (Bloomberg) -- State Grid Corp. of China has agreed to acquire a 49% stake in Oman’s state-owned power transmission company in the first major privatization by the Middle East’s largest non-OPEC oil producer.The Chinese state-owned company announced the deal on its website Monday, without providing any financial details. The statement confirmed an earlier Bloomberg News report. State Grid will buy the stake in a transaction that values Oman Electricity Transmission Co. at about $2 billion, people familiar with the matter have said.The privatization attracted interest from large international investors and is the biggest in size in the country’s electricity sector, the people have said. The nation’s Nama Holding retain a controlling stake in Oman Electricity after the transaction.The deal is a landmark for the Gulf Arab monarchy as it embarks on asset sales of government-owned entities to plug one of the largest budget deficits among oil exporters. It’s also a sign of China’s rising interest in the Middle East amid plans by President Xi Jinping to increase the nation’s political clout and revive ancient trading routes under his “One Belt, One Road” initiative.Oman has one of the biggest budget shortfalls of all the sovereigns tracked by Fitch Ratings. The Gulf Arab monarchy’s finances have been hurt by lower oil prices, pushing the government to consider alternative sources of funding. It has been raising money from international debt markets to plug the deficit.Oman Electricity owns and operates the nation’s main transmission network. The company, which is a subsidiary of Nama Holding, posted profits of 23 million rials ($60 million) for the first half of the year, compared with 17 million rials for the same period last year, according to information on its website.Lazard Ltd. was the financial adviser for Nama Holding, while HSBC Holdings Plc. advised State Grid.(Updates to add arrangers of deal in the last paragraph)\--With assistance from Andre Janse van Vuuren.To contact the reporters on this story: Dinesh Nair in London at dnair5@bloomberg.net;Vinicy Chan in Hong Kong at vchan91@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Aaron Kirchfeld at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net, Fion Li, Ramsey Al-RikabiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • No savings at 50? I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 income stocks over a buy-to-let
    Fool.co.uk

    No savings at 50? I’d buy these 2 FTSE 100 income stocks over a buy-to-let

    Harvey Jones says FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) shares beat property on ease, income and tax grounds.

  • Pound’s World-Topping Rally Wobbles as Market Braces for Swings
    Bloomberg

    Pound’s World-Topping Rally Wobbles as Market Braces for Swings

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.The pound swung between gains and losses as British voters headed to the polls to decide between Conservatives hoping to deliver Brexit in January and a Labour Party promising a second referendum.Bets on overnight volatility in sterling surged to the highest in nearly three years and traders hedged the risk of a surprise in options markets. The currency has been the world’s best performer in recent months, on speculation a majority for Prime Minister Boris Johnson would allow him to get his Brexit deal through Parliament. The rally has held even as polls conducted ahead of voting suggested the race was narrowing.“Our base case is for the Tory Party to secure a comfortable, at least a 20-seat majority and the outcome should be sufficient to keep the pound supported over the long run,” wrote Credit Agricole SA strategists including Valentin Marinov in a research note. “If the Conservatives win fewer seats, there is a risk of a ‘sell-the-fact reaction’ that could see the pound a bit weaker in the immediate aftermath.”The pound traded down 0.4% at $1.3146 by 3:20 p.m. in London, after dipping to a low of $1.3116 during European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde’s press conference. It earlier touched the highest since March 27, and has still gained 6.5% against the dollar in the past three months. It slipped 0.3% to 84.63 pence per euro.The pound has been the market barometer of political risk since the June 2016 Brexit vote. After touching an almost three-year low in early September, it has recovered on expectations that Johnson’s gamble to call an election could result in a majority that would allow him move on to trade talks with the European Union.Polls in the U.K. will stay open until 10 p.m., with the first indication of voting due after that in an exit poll. The first results are set to begin filtering through between 11 p.m. and midnight.Pulling All-NighterTraders are preparing for a long day. Some of HSBC Holding Plc’s currency sales and trading team in London will work overnight, while Barclays Plc plans additional staffing in New York, London and Singapore, according to spokespeople at the banks.Investors have turned to the options market to hedge their positions. Bets that the pound will fall in the next week have surged to the highest level since the aftermath of the 2016 Brexit referendum.“There is plenty of scope for a surprise,” said Jeremy Stretch, head of Group-of-10 currency strategy at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, citing the unknowns of the turnout, tactical voting and poor weather in the U.K.’s first December election since 1923. Stretch will return to the office to work through the night.Mark Dowding, a portfolio manager at BlueBay Asset Management in London, will be having a Christmas party with his team Thursday evening. He expects them all to be huddled around a television when the exit poll is released at 10 p.m., the so-called “witching hour” for currency markets between the end of New York’s day and the start of Asian trading.“We will be waiting until morning before deciding on any trades,” he said. “We are skeptical there will be sufficient liquidity to trade much on overnight news.”(Updates prices.)\--With assistance from Eddie van der Walt.To contact the reporter on this story: Charlotte Ryan in London at cryan147@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dana El Baltaji at delbaltaji@bloomberg.net, Neil Chatterjee, William ShawFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Forget buy-to-let! I’d invest in these FTSE 100 shares today to make a passive income
    Fool.co.uk

    Forget buy-to-let! I’d invest in these FTSE 100 shares today to make a passive income

    These two FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX) stocks appear to offer superior income returns compared to buy-to-let properties.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-UK shares ride Sino-U.S. trade high; election result watched

    UK shares leapt on Thursday as U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States and China were very close to a trade deal, providing a shot in the arm to what had been a wait-and-watch session for markets with Britons voting in an election. The FTSE 100 rose 1%, driven by a 3% jump in HSBC and gains in miners and oil stocks on the back of Trump's comment, which came days before tit-for-tat tariffs are set to take effect. The FTSE 250 broke a three-day losing streak as it added 0.7%.

  • HSBC CEO Search Ending Where It Began: Signs Point to Quinn
    Bloomberg

    HSBC CEO Search Ending Where It Began: Signs Point to Quinn

    (Bloomberg) -- Stuck in an elevator, Noel Quinn witnessed first hand the routine travails of then-HSBC Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer John Flint: his boss was clutching a white belt and an ice bucket, equipment he’d needed to chair a management meeting while in excruciating back pain.It was a “surreal” encounter, Quinn recalled in an internal video chronicling the life of the head honcho at a global institution with almost quarter-million employees and assets approaching $3 trillion.Not long after came another surreal moment involving Flint. Quinn was summoned back to headquarters while en route to Heathrow airport by Chairman Mark Tucker. He was asked whether he would fill in for Flint, who would be ousted days later after less than two years as CEO, and did he want the job full-time. He answered yes to both.Quinn’s rise from obscurity to the glare of a position that paid Flint more than $5 million last year is on track. In internal and external communications, references to the former global head of commercial banking’s role being “interim” have quietly disappeared.Having said he didn’t see himself as a mere “caretaker” after taking the job in August, he’s now laying out a long-term strategy. He’s putting a stamp on the business that the 15-person board wouldn’t have greenlighted for a short-timer, say former HSBC managers, who asked not to be identified.In a sweeping overhaul of the executive ranks this week, the 57-year-old Quinn replaced the top investment banker, chief operating officer and chief risk officer.“My mandate is to run the business not just as an interim CEO, but as the CEO of the bank,” Quinn told employees shortly after he was named.Meantime, executives are planning to unveil a restructuring early next year that’s expected to close parts of the business, scale back stock trading and divest operations including the French retail unit. A fresh strategy is likely to see HSBC focusing even more resources on Asia -- which already provides 90% of profit.The urgency reflects the headwinds threatening the HSBC franchise. S&P Global Ratings put its A rating on negative watch last month after quarterly profits missed estimates. Not all the troubles are of its own making: geopolitical challenges from Brexit to unrest in Hong Kong and the U.S.-China trade war have conspired against its bottom line, adding to pressures from negative interest rates in Europe and slowing global economic growth.HSBC shares have dropped more than 10% in both Hong Kong and London this year, lagging rivals and the benchmark indexes. Flint paid the price, angering Tucker by not moving fast enough.Now it’s up to Quinn: Senior executives who have worked with him say the British banker is a safe pair of hands and aren’t surprised he is the front-runner to lead the business through its third major restructuring in less than a decade.Quinn’s rise could have stalled the ambitions of HSBC’s Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson who insiders had tipped as a potential CEO himself. Stevenson has been a driving force behind the cost-cutting program at the bank, leading some staff to dub him the firm’s “internal activist,” in a reference to the impact of an outside investor agitating for change.Unlike several of his predecessors, Quinn isn’t a product of HSBC’s elite international manager cadre that traditionally produces its leaders, including Flint. He attended Birmingham Polytechnic in central England before training as an accountant. His first job was digging holes on a building site and his banking career began at Forward Trust, a financing and leasing unit of Midland Bank, the U.K. lender that HSBC bought in 1992. He spent the next two decades working his way up the commercial-banking business, spending much of his time in Asia, before emerging at the top of the unit in late 2015.Behind the scenes, Quinn has taken steps to boost his chances of getting the job. HSBC hired Brunswick Group Ltd., the blue-chip public relations outfit, in February, with Susan Gilchrist, the firm’s former CEO and chairwoman of its Global Clients practice, advising on the switch from Flint to Quinn. “We work with a broad range of the management team,” said Gilchrist.“It’s now very hard for someone else to come in and take the strategy and execute it,” said John Cronin, U.K. financials analyst at Goodbody, the Dublin-based broker. “He has really stepped up and taken the job on, so the bet has to be on Quinn.”(Adds 12th paragraph about Stevenson.)To contact the reporter on this story: Harry Wilson in London at hwilson57@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ambereen Choudhury at achoudhury@bloomberg.net, James Hertling, Marion DakersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Small British banks want softer rules to help them compete

    Britain's mid-tier banks have asked the Bank of England to ease rules introduced after the financial crisis that they say hamper their efforts to compete with bigger rivals that have a tight grip on the market. Four banking industry sources said these so-called "challengers" have stepped up lobbying in meetings with the central bank and finance ministry officials in recent months to ease requirements for holding special debt aimed at shielding taxpayers from bailing out troubled banks. Smaller banks have long-argued that rules are stacked in favour of the "big six" lenders - RBS, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, Santander and Nationwide.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 1-HSBC Swiss unit to pay $192 mln in latest U.S. tax evasion deal

    The Swiss private banking unit of HSBC Holdings Plc will pay $192.4 million to resolve a U.S. probe of its role in helping wealthy Americans evade taxes by using undeclared Swiss bank accounts, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Tuesday. The DoJ's deal with HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA is the latest in which numerous Swiss-based banks, including UBS and Credit Suisse Group, have paid billions of dollars in settlements and penalties for conspiring to help rich Americans dodge taxes.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 1-Huawei's CFO wins Canada court fight to see more documents related to her arrest

    Lawyers for Huawei's chief financial officer have won a court battle after a judge asked Canada's attorney general to hand over more evidence and documents relating to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, according to a court ruling released on Tuesday. Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes in the Supreme Court of British Columbia agreed with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's legal team that there is an "air of reality" to their assertion. Meng, 47, was arrested at the Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, 2018, at the request of the United States, where she is charged with bank fraud and accused of misleading the bank HSBC about Huawei Technologies' business in Iran.

  • HSBC Agrees to Pay $192 Million to Resolve U.S. Tax Probe
    Bloomberg

    HSBC Agrees to Pay $192 Million to Resolve U.S. Tax Probe

    (Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc admitted that it helped hundreds of American clients hide more than $1 billion in assets from the Internal Revenue Service and agreed to pay $192.4 million to resolve a decade-long U.S. tax investigation.Prosecutors filed a charge of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. against a unit of the bank, HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA, but agreed to drop it in three years if it abides by a deal submitted Tuesday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.From at least 2000 through 2010, HSBC Switzerland “assisted U.S. persons in concealing their offshore assets and income from U.S. tax authorities, evading their U.S. tax obligations and filing false federal tax returns with the IRS,” according to the conspiracy charge.The settlement follows years of Justice Department and IRS battles against Swiss banks, taxpayers and enablers over undeclared accounts, which led to settlements with dozens of banks. It also caps a decade in which HSBC, an Asia-focused lender, entered into two other deferred-prosecution agreements with the U.S. and spent heavily on improving internal controls. For the past two years, the Bank of England has warned HSBC that it hasn’t done enough to tackle concerns about handling risks including financial crime and staff conduct.“HSBC Switzerland conspired with U.S. account holders to conceal assets abroad and evade taxes that every American must pay,” said Stuart M. Goldberg, the acting deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Tax Division.In a “statement of facts,” HSBC Switzerland admitted that it helped 720 U.S. clients hide $825 million in assets from the IRS. The amount of undeclared assets rose to $1.26 billion in 2007, before dropping by half three years later. HSBC Switzerland offered a variety of traditional Swiss banking services that helped clients cheat the IRS, including advising clients to withdraw less than $10,000 to avoid reporting requirements, and providing credit, debit and travel cards to access funds.Many banks have made similar admissions. UBS Group AG said in 2009 that it helped thousands of clients cheat the IRS and paid $780 million, and Credit Suisse Group AG reached a $2.6 billion deal in 2014. Another 80 Swiss banks avoided prosecution by agreeing to pay $1.37 billion in penalties and voluntarily disclosing their wrongdoing as part of a Justice Department program.HSBC has been caught up in other scandals as well. In 2012, the bank paid $1.9 billion in penalties, admitting that it failed to prevent Latin American drug cartels from laundering money and violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. Within a year, its reform efforts met resistance from leaders of HSBC’s U.S. investment-banking unit -- some of whom mounted a campaign of bullying, foot-dragging and discrediting in-house watchdogs, according to a court-appointed monitor.Soon after that deal expired, the bank agreed in early 2018 to pay about $100 million to resolve an investigation into rigging of currency rates. Later that year, the bank agreed to pay $765 million to settle allegations that it sold defective residential mortgage-backed securities.In the tax case, HSBC bankers told clients not to receive bank statements in the U.S. mail or carry them back from Switzerland. The bank used wholly owned or affiliated companies to offer people in tax-haven countries to serve as trustees or directors of shell companies that helped hide the true owners of accounts. From 2005 to 2007, at least four bankers on the North American desk traveled to the U.S. to advise existing client and troll for new ones at events like Design Miami.On numerous occasions from 2002 through 2006, bankers used an HSBC Switzerland account to purchase art at auction for a client, known as Client 1, according to the statement of facts. On another occasion, bankers used it to pay for a luxury vacation package provider.In 2008, as the U.S. crackdown on offshore tax evasion took root, the bank began forcing U.S. clients with undeclared accounts to close accounts. But bankers helped clients close accounts “in a manner that continued to conceal their offshore assets,” according to the bank’s admissions.HSBC has undertaken “substantial remedial measures and extensively cooperated” with the Justice Department, according to the agreement. It contacted the Justice Department in December 2008, conducted an internal investigation, and reported its misconduct.“We are pleased to resolve this legacy matter,” said Alex Classen, the chief executive officer of HSBC Private Bank (Suisse), who attended the Tuesday hearing. “Over the past decade we have strengthened our compliance function, enhanced our control framework and put in place a comprehensive client tax transparency policy.”In recent years, the bank quintupled the number of employees assigned to spot suspicious activity to 5,000, upgraded its technology and, in 2016, hired Jennifer Calvery, the U.S. Treasury Department’s top anti-money-laundering official, to oversee its efforts.Still, the tax case was left unresolved for at least eight years. In 2011, the IRS went to court to seek information about Americans with accounts at HSBC India from 2002 to 2010. Through 2010, about 9,000 U.S. residents had nonresident Indian accounts of $100,000 or more, and only 1,391 disclosed them to the U.S. in 2009, the IRS said in court filings. The clients had deposits of almost $400 million.In 2013, a New Jersey businessman who cooperated with prosecutors avoided prison after admitting he conspired with five HSBC bankers to hide Indian bank accounts from the IRS. Several other HSBC clients were convicted of tax crimes.HSBC Switzerland has effectively exited the U.S. market, and now has fewer than 5,000 accounts in total, a decrease of more than 85% since the late 2000s, according to the agreement.(Updates with details of the agreement)\--With assistance from Greg Farrell and Yalman Onaran.To contact the reporters on this story: David Voreacos in New York at dvoreacos@bloomberg.net;Jonathan Levin in Miami at jlevin20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey D Grocott at jgrocott2@bloomberg.net, David S. JoachimFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    HSBC Swiss Private Bank Settles Legacy Investigation With US Department of Justice

    HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA reached a settlement with the Justice Department to resolve an investigation into its legacy business with US clients.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Nightmare before Christmas? Traders dig in for long British election night

    It's the time of year when London's bankers and traders wind down and prepare for holidays. Instead, many are cancelling leave and will work all night on Thursday as Britain votes in an unpredictable election that could convulse global markets. Major banks including Barclays and HSBC also plan to deploy extra staff through the night, not just in London but also on trading floors in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, to make sure they're constantly on call for clients.

  • Top UK shares for 2020
    Fool.co.uk

    Top UK shares for 2020

    Fool.co.uk's writers reveal their top shares for the year!

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Santander UK latest bank to cut CEO pension perks

    Santander's UK chief executive Nathan Bostock will have his pension allowance cut from next year, as the bank becomes the latest to bow to investor pressure to rein in executive pension perks. Bostock's pension allowance - which was worth 588,000 pounds ($754,404.00) last year - will be reduced from 35% of his base pay to 22% in 2020 and to 9% in 2021, a source familiar with the matter said. Santander's move comes as rivals including HSBC and RBS have already cut executive pension perks this year to meet corporate governance guidelines, while others including Barclays and Lloyds have plans to do so.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 1-HSBC announces management reshuffle ahead of new strategy

    HSBC has named Georges Elhedery and Greg Guyett as co-heads of the global banking and markets division, which contains the lender's troubled investment banking business, as part of a reshuffle under interim Chief Executive Noel Quinn. Quinn, who replaced John Flint in August, is expected to announce the lender's new strategy at or before its annual results report on Feb. 18. The new co-heads replace Samir Assaf, who has run global banking and markets since 2011 and who will stay with the business as chairman of corporate and institutional banking.

  • HSBC announces management reshuffle ahead of new strategy
    Reuters

    HSBC announces management reshuffle ahead of new strategy

    HSBC has named Georges Elhedery and Greg Guyett as co-heads of the global banking and markets division, which contains the lender's troubled investment banking business, as part of a reshuffle under interim Chief Executive Noel Quinn. Quinn, who replaced John Flint in August, is expected to announce the lender's new strategy at or before its annual results report on Feb. 18. The new co-heads replace Samir Assaf, who has run global banking and markets since 2011 and who will stay with the business as chairman of corporate and institutional banking.

  • If this happens, I think the HSBC share price could plunge to 280p!
    Fool.co.uk

    If this happens, I think the HSBC share price could plunge to 280p!

    Civil unrest in Hong Kong could hammer HSBC's share price says Rupert Hargreaves.

  • Video-Conference App Zoom Is a Rare Winner in Hong Kong Protests
    Bloomberg

    Video-Conference App Zoom Is a Rare Winner in Hong Kong Protests

    (Bloomberg) -- As protests jolt Hong Kong business, organizations from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to universities are adapting by going digital, switching to video-conferencing app Zoom to conduct online investor briefings and virtual lectures.Zoom Video Communications Inc. joins a number of internet services that have taken off since the unrest began over the summer, from mobile messenger Telegram to work-at-home apps. In a financial hub that thrives on face-to-face deal-making and power lunches, Zoom helps fill a void created by transport disruptions and concerns about personal safety.Hong Kong’s business community leans on the app’s features, which include slide-sharing and support for up to 1,000 call participants, to carry on cross-border communications and with mainland China, where WhatsApp, Telegram and Google alternatives are banned. There’s a local version of Zoom that’s compatible, which is why the app’s downloads in Hong Kong soared 460% in November, after an escalation in protest violence first triggered a spike in September, according to researcher Sensor Tower.Read more: Zoom’s Eric Yuan, the CEO Who Made Videoconferencing Bearable“As schools continue to be in lock-down mode, we’ve had to move our lectures online to minimize disruption,” said Cheung Siu Wai, a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, adding Skype has been another option.Now valued at $19 billion, Zoom’s shares have almost doubled since listing on the Nasdaq this year. It’s unclear how the spike in downloads may translate into revenue growth for Zoom, founded by Chinese emigrant Eric Yuan, who now resides in California.The company has various pricing tiers and recently added HSBC to a roster of paying clients that includes Uber Technologies Inc. and Zendesk Inc., underpinning 85% growth in revenue to $167 million in the October quarter. Representatives for the company, which is backed by investors including Salesforce.com Inc., Tiger Global and Qualcomm Inc., declined to comment on how the Hong Kong protests have affected its business.”With the periodic traffic disruptions, our colleagues have no choice but to use video-conferencing apps,” said Derek Chan, co-founder of Master Concept, a Hong Kong-based cloud service provider.To contact the reporters on this story: Carol Zhong in Hong Kong at yzhong71@bloomberg.net;Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    Big European banks face call to end funding for firms building coal-fired plants

    Some of Europe's biggest banks are being challenged by environmental groups to sever all lending to utilities which they say are still developing new coal-fired power plants. The call comes as some 190 countries meet in Madrid to assess progress on the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which demands a virtual end to coal power by 2050. A United Nations report last year said almost all coal-fired power plants would need to close by the middle of this century to curb a rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the level scientists say is needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 1-UK regulators call time on lengthy glitches in banking services

    Regulators made proposals on Thursday to strengthen the ability of banks and payment firms in Britain to cope with major incidents and maintain key services with minimum interruption. The Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority have proposed that banks, insurers, investment firms, exchanges and financial market infrastructure (FMIs) firms like Visa that make payments possible, set "impact tolerances" for important services. Firms themselves would quantify the maximum level of disruption they would tolerate in terms of time, volume of business or number of customers affected.

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    UPDATE 2-FTSE trails Europe as exporters dip, Glencore tumbles

    London's FTSE 100 slid on Thursday due to a 9% plunge in Glencore after news of a bribery investigation and as dollar earners fell with sterling gaining on growing hopes that the upcoming election will not result in a hung parliament. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended 0.7% lower, lagging its peers in Europe and on Wall Street. The more domestically focused mid-cap index, the FTSE 250 , added 0.2%, led higher by a near 20% surge in home furnishings retailer Dunelm after it raised profit expectations.

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