(Or “HSBC: Glass half empty or half full?” or “The difficulty of analysing a company esp a bank”)
(“Profit” here means profit attributable to shareholders)
But FT preferred to focus on the 6% fall in pre-tax underlying profits to US$17.7 bn.
But pre-tax profits actually rose 15% to US$21.9bn. But FT, rightly in my view, took out the US$13.9bn gain in the value of the bank’s own credit. This is Alice-in-wonderland accounting that banks have to use (some happily, some reluctantly). The weaker banks love it.
HSBC is currently the most profitable Western bank, with its nearest rival, JP Morgan having profits 15% lower.
HSBC Asia Pacific posted profits before tax of US$13.3 billion – 15% more year on year. The region accounted for 61% of the group’s total pre-tax profit.
As regards HSBC S’pore, it posted a pre-tax profit of US$595 million for FY2011, up 14% from a year ago. A lot better than OCBC’s and UOB’s S’pore operations. I plan to blog on how well Citi’s, HSBC’sand StanChart’s S’pore operations compare to our three local banks, one of these days. BTW StanChart juz reported that its pre-tax profit from it’s S’pore operations has hit US$1bn, up 40%.