HSBC profits up 10% driven by growth in China

The results will add fuel to discussions that Europe’s largest bank could move its headquarters from London to Hong Kong

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The Independent Online

HSBC has reported a profit hike of 10 per cent before tax in the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2014, driven by growth in Asia.

The results will weigh on discussions that Europe’s largest bank could move its headquarters from London to Hong Kong as it first hinted in April.

HSBC has also announced that it is selling its business in Brazil to Bradesco, one of Brazil’s largest banks, for $5.2 billion (£3.3 billion) as it seeks to cut costs. Job losses of up to 25,000 had already been announced in June.

Pre-tax profits for the first half of the year were $13.6 billion, higher than $12.3 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Douglas Flint, group chairman, said that the Greece crisis had hit trade flows in Europe, but that the opening of the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock connect, which provides a market for foreign investors to invest in domestic Chinese stocks, had boosted equity volumes.

"HSBC's Wealth Management revenues in Hong Kong from equities, mutual funds and asset management increased significantly," Flint said.

Stuart Gulliver, HSBC chief executive, said that HSBC was still intending to ‘pivot’ its business towards Asia, but that this was not the sole focus of investment. Other areas of growth will include Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, the US and Mexico.

Gulliver said that work had begun on the review into whether HSBC will move its headquarters from London and that a decision would be made by the end of the year.

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