Shares in HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) have fallen into the red this morning, even as the Asia-focused lender posted a rise in half-year pre-tax profits. The results come after the group’s new chief executive John Flint unveiled the company’s new strategy earlier this year.
As of 08:48 BST, HSBC’s share price had given up 0.42 percent to 712.80p, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.02 percent higher at 7,660.48 points. The group’s shares have lost more than seven percent of their value over the past year, as compared with a near two-percent gain in the Footsie.
HSBC posts half-year results
HSBC announced in a statement this morning that its reported profit before tax had climbed five percent to $10.7 billion in the first half of the year. The group’s adjusted profit before tax, however, dipped two percent to $12.1 billion, with higher operating expenses partly offsetting revenue growth and lower expected credit losses. The company meanwhile saw a four-percent rise in reported revenue to $27.3 billion, while its common equity tier 1 ratio stood at 14.2 percent.
“We are taking firm steps to deliver the strategy we outlined in June,” HSBC’s chief executive John Flint commented in the statement, while the group’s chairman Mark Tucker noted that the lender remained “cautiously optimistic for global growth in the remainder of the year”. He further reassured investors that the fundamentals of Asia remained “strong despite rising concerns around the future of international trade and protectionism”.
The comments came after last week, Asia-focused peer StanChart (LON:STAN) cautioned that it believed that trade protectionism would be bad for the global economy.
The Telegraph quoted analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods said HSBC had had a ‘tough quarter,’ and that the City's focus would most likely be on the weakness in underlying profits.