HSBC Reports Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2020 Earnings

HSBC building in the Canary Wharf district of London, UK

Leon Neal | AFP | fake images

HSBC said Tuesday that its reported pre-tax profit for 2020 fell 34% from the previous year to $ 8.8 billion, and declared a provisional dividend of 15 cents a share.

The bank’s earnings beat analysts’ expectations of $ 8.3 billion for all of last year, according to estimates compiled by the London-based bank.

Ahead of the results release, HSBC’s Hong Kong shares rose 3% in early trading on Tuesday.

Like many of its peers globally, HSBC last year built up provisions for potential credit losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Beyond financial results, investors had been anticipating the bank’s comments on the dividend payment and share buyback. HSBC halted both activities last year when British regulators urged lenders to conserve capital.

The Bank of England said in December that British banks may resume paying some dividends. And Barclays announced last week that it would resume such payments and embark on a 700 million pound ($ 985.4 million) share buyback.

Jackson Wong, director of asset management at Amber Hill Capital, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday that a dividend per share of between 13 cents and 15 cents from HSBC would be considered “reasonable” by investors.

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