HSBC profit rises 10 percent, bank selling Brazil unit

AP News
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Posted: Aug 03, 2015 1:27 AM

HONG KONG (AP) — HSBC Holdings PLC, Europe's biggest bank, said Monday that strong performance in Asia helped to boost first-half profit by 10 percent. The bank also announced the sale of its Brazil business for $5.2 billion.

Profit for the six months ending June 30 rose to $13.6 billion, or 48 cents per share, said the bank which is listed on stock exchanges in Hong Kong and London. Revenue rose 4 percent from a year earlier to $30.8 billion.

"Strong revenue performance across our Asia businesses helped drive increased profits," said CEO Stuart Gulliver in a statement.

Gulliver cited growth in commercial banking in Hong Kong and Britain and in wealth management in Asia.

Also Monday, HSBC announced it is selling its business in Brazil to Banco Bradesco SA as part of plans announced in June to simplify its sprawling global operations. HSBC said it would keep an operation in Brazil to serve major corporate customers.

HSBC operates in 70 countries and has about 51 million customers.

The June plans call for the London-based bank to cut about 10 percent of its workforce, or some 25,000 jobs, and reduce annual expenses by $4.5-$5 billion.

The bank also has said it plans to sell its operations in Turkey.

HSBC has suffered a series of regulatory fines and crackdowns in Europe and the U.S. and wants to capitalize on Asia's rapidly expanding class of newly wealthy. The region accounted for about 75 percent of the bank's 2014 profit, even though only one-third of its staff are in the region.

Growth initiatives include expanding business in China's Pearl River Delta near Hong Kong and in Southeast Asia and in asset management and insurance.

"Delivering these actions will create value for our customers and shareholders," said Gulliver's statement. "It will also help us to continue to adapt to the structural changes that are asked of us by regulators and legislators."

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HSBC Holding: www.hsbc.com