HSBC first quarter profit jumps as costs drop

HSBC first quarter profit jumps as costs drop
Europe s largest bank made $6.2bn (£4.8bn) before tax in the three months to March, up from $4.8bn in the same period a year earlier.

It beat the $5.58bn average of analysts estimates compiled by HSBC.

Chief executive John Flint said the results were "encouraging" against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty.

Shares climbed 2.3% in Hong Kong trading after the earnings release.

In a statement , HSBC said growth in Asia was strong during the first quarter and reported a 7% rise in revenue for the period, compared with a year earlier.

The bank makes three-quarters of its profits in Asia.

The earnings release also showed HSBC had made progress in efforts to cut costs, with operating expenses down 12% during the first quarter. Earnings per share rose 40% to 21 cents.

HSBC has moved to rein in spending while trying to boost investment in retail banking and wealth management.

"These are an encouraging set of results, particularly in the context of heightened economic uncertainty globally," Mr Flint.

The bank said its "US turnaround" was progressing but "remains our most challenging strategic priority".

Earlier this year, HSBC warned profits would be hit by a slowdown in China.

In 2018, the lender said it would invest up to $17bn over three years in areas including in China and technology, without affecting profitability.
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