HSBC profits climb as Asia shift pays off

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HSBC, listed in Hong Kong, London and NY, released its third-quarter financial statement on Monday.

HSBC on Monday reported a major rebound in its pre-tax profit for 4.6 billion US dollars in the third quarter of 2017, up from 843 million USA dollars a year ago.

It reported net income of almost $3 billion, swinging from a loss of $617 million the previous year as revenue climbed 38 percent to $13.2 billion.

"Our worldwide network continued to deliver strong growth in the third quarter, and our pivot to Asia is driving higher returns and lending growth, particularly in Hong Kong", Mr Gulliver said.

Led by its "pivot to Asia", HSBC continued to grow revenues across its three main businesses in the third quarter but increased investment kept underlying profits flat.

Asia was an important driver for growth in insurance, wealth management, and loans, said the bank. The region accounted for 87 percent, or around $4 billion, of HSBC's third-quarter pre-tax profit and is what differentiates the bank from its European peers, said Martin Smith, head of markets analysts at East & Partners.

HSBC highlighted strong performance from its global network and good contributions from its Hong Kong and Asia businesses.

Asia-focused lender HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBC, HSBA.L) on Monday reported significantly higher pre-tax profit in its third quarter, mainly on the absence of prior year's hefty loss on items as well as strong growth in revenues.

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Profits for the quarter were £3.5bn, up from £640m in the same quarter previous year. "But on a quarterly basis, the third-quarter profit will probably be lower than the second quarter due to decline in income and some jump in the provisions for bad loans", Ivan Li, research director at DBS Vickers Hong Kong, told CNBC before the release.

Adjusted revenue reported for the three months ended 30 September of $12.98bn was ahead of the consensus forecast of $12.7bn.

Adjusted profit before tax was $5.44 billion, compared to $5.52 billion a year ago.

HSBC's latest financial statement showed once again the company's ability to pick itself up after the global financial crisis.

The bank has also been able to maintain its capital buffers and dividends despite multiple rounds of share buyback programs.

Investors and analysts interpreted the results as another sign the bank's turnaround, which CEO Stuart Gulliver started in 2011 and accelerated in 2015, is gaining traction. Retail Banking and Wealth Management as well as Commercial Banking segments posted higher profit, offset by weak profit in Global Banking and Markets.

That is expected to continue or accelerate under HSBC veteran and incoming CEO Flint, who spent much of his early career in Asia, alongside new chairman Mark Tucker, who has also worked extensively in the region. Raising its standards is a key condition of a five-year deferred prosecution agreement the bank entered in 2012 with the U.S. Department of Justice, while paying $1.9 billion in a settlement over money-laundering allegations.

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