The institute, whose roots are in Hong Kong and Shanghai anyway, intends to invest six billion dollars in expanding its Asian business over the next five years, as it announced on Tuesday when the 2020 figures were presented in London. In 2020, the bank did not suffer as much from the corona pandemic as experts feared. In addition, the money house wants to pay its shareholders a dividend again and reported a good start to the current year. HSBC already generates half of its income and the majority of its profits in Asia.
The share lost around two percent to around 420 pence by lunchtime. Before that, however, it had recently recovered significantly from its low at the end of September. At that time, its price had fallen below the 300 pence mark and thus lower than it has been since the financial crisis of 2008/2009.
Traders justified the price loss on Tuesday, among other things, with the fact that the bank has hardly commented on the future of poorly performing sectors such as the branch business in France or the United States. Many analysts had hoped for concrete statements here.
The pre-tax profit, adjusted for special effects, fell by almost half to a little more than 12 billion dollars (10 billion euros), mainly due to a significantly increased risk provision for loan losses. However, experts had expected an even greater decline. Operating revenues fell eight percent on a like-for-like basis to $ 50 billion.
The bottom line was a profit of almost $ 3.9 billion, a third less than in 2019.
The year 2021 got off to a good start, said CEO Noel Quinn, who only recently took over the management of the company. “We are therefore cautiously optimistic.” He confirmed the goals for the targeted cost reductions and the reduction of risks. However, he canceled the return target for 2022. Because of the difficult global economic situation and the existing uncertainties, he no longer expects a return on equity of between ten and twelve percent in the coming year, but is only aiming for a value of more than ten percent in the medium term .
The number of employees could drop to around 200,000, he said at the time when he was still head of the transition. At the end of 2020, the bank still employed around 226,000 people.
The tightening of the austerity course was considered by experts as an important step for Quinn to secure the post permanently. He is thus continuing the horse cure of the past few years. After the financial crisis, HSBC withdrew from many business areas and countries and has already cut more than 70,000 jobs./zb/stw/stk