HSBC 1st half pre-tax profit up 4.6 pct on strong growth

Global bank HSBC reported Monday that its pre-tax profit in the first half of the year rose 4.6 percent as its strategy focused on growing markets paid off.

The London-based bank’s $10.7 billion pre-tax profit in January-June compared with $10.2 billion a year earlier. Quarterly pre-tax profit surged to $5.96 billion from $4.8 billion in April-June 2017.

The bank said Monday that net profit was $7.2 billion in the first half, up from $7 billion a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4.2 percent from a year earlier to $27.2 billion from $26.2 billion a year earlier. The bank’s total assets climbed to $2.61 trillion as of June 30 from $2.52 trillion as of Dec. 30, 2017.

HSBC is Europe’s biggest bank, but earns most of its profits from Asia. Last year it completed a corporate overhaul to raise profitability by focusing more on high-growth Asian emerging markets while shedding businesses and workers in other countries.

Group CEO John Flint said the company’s results met its expectations. The bank will seek to improve returns, “particularly in Asia and across our network; turning around low-return businesses of high strategic importance, particularly in the United States. …”

“With a period of significant restructuring now behind us, and with monetary policy in the U.S.-dollar bloc normalizing, it is now time to realize the potential of the group,” he said in a statement.

The bank said in a presentation posted online that it intends to invest in growing its business in Asia, especially southern China and Southeast Asia and to be the No. 1 international bank for China’s “Belt and Road” initiative of infrastructure projects in Asia and beyond.