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HSBC's North American unit passed a Federal Reserve stress test in June, clearing the way for more than $3 billion of capital to be returned to shareholders, analysts said at the time. Its standout business was global banking where revenues rose 16 per cent from a year earlier to $1.06 billion, outpacing an average 1 per cent rise across the five major U.S. banks.

Chairman Douglas Flint and CEO Stuart Gulliver will both retire soon and leave a legacy of improved revenue and returning more to shareholders in the way of capital, having focused on cutting the bank's size and shifting focus to the east.

The company also announced it would be buying back $2 billion in shares in the last half of the year. The move comes after the group wrapped up a previously announced $1-billion buyback in April.

Reported pre-tax profit for the six months to June rose 5% to $10.2bn compared with $9.7bn for the same period in 2016.

HSBC shares have performed strongly over the past year, as the decline in the value of the pound relative to the dollar has enhanced the value in sterling terms of the bank's overseas earnings. Subsequently, the group is growing market share in numerous products that are central to its strategy. Shares in the company rose by more than three per cent after the figures were unveiled, as investors and analysts welcomed the news of an extended share buyback.

New chairman Mark Tucker, who will succeed Flint in October, is already considering internal and external candidates to replace Gulliver, with an emphasis placed on someone who can continue to galvanize growth at Europe's largest bank.

The share buybacks and sustainable dividends show that HSBC has advanced further in its turnaround in comparison to other rivals based in Britain including Standard Chartered and Barclays, which during restructuring suspended payouts.

Since the 2008 credit crunch HSBC has cut thousands of roles and sold assets to ensure it can keep paying dividends and remain profitable.

"The $200-$300m total is the cost of the transition to France", Gulliver said after HSBC reported an increase in profits for the first half of the year. At the 2015 strategy day, Mr. Gulliver laid out an aim to get revenue growth in its worldwide network above GDP, and said he tracks the estimated figure every two weeks.

HSBC has reported a rise in half-year profit and announced a two billion United States dollar (£1.5 billion) share buy-back.


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