International Finance

HSBC’s ‘pivot to Asia’ working as Asian business shows robust growth

HSBC Asia business
$1 billion of the up to $17 billion investments in Asia and technology were already invested in the first quarter of 2019

HSBC’s business in Asia recorded strong growth as revenue from the region rose 7 percent and adjusted pre-tax profit rose 8 percent to $5.4 billion. Asia is HSBC’s largest profit centre and the bank had declared earlier that it would spend up to $17 billion on its pivot to Asia strategy and to improve technology.

About $1 billion of the $17 billion investment of HSBC under the pivot to Asia strategy was invested in Q1, the South China Morning Post reported. The bank plans to spend another $5 billion under this strategy this year. HSBC is headquartered in London, but makes most of its profit in Asia.

Revenue from HSBC’s global banking activity was down 9 percent from 2018 in the first quarter. Global markets revenue declined 5 percent due to reduced client activity, especially in equities. Overall global profit before tax rose 31 percent in the first quarter of the year.

Profit before tax at HSBC rose to $6.21 billion in the first quarter of 2019 as opposed to $4.76 billion in the January to March quarter of 2018.

HSBC has boosted investments in businesses such as retail banking and wealth management to raise market share. However, its investment banking business has struggled with slow revenue growth.

Although it is headquartered in London, HSBC considers itself at home in Asia, with China and Britain both considered home markets.

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