LONDON, AP -Banking group HSBC Holdings PLC reported a nearly 15 percent rise in its profit for the first half on Monday, citing its expansion into emerging markets.
HSBC, which operates in Britain, Europe, Asia and the Americas, said it earned $8.73 billion in the six months ended June 30 from $7.6 billion a year ago. That beat the $8.1 billion expected by analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
The London-based bank said it got a lifty from business in emerging markets while operations in mature economies “continued to perform well.” HSBC said that the global economy remains strong, led by intense growth in China.
“In any event, we will continue to position HSBC to take best advantage of the changing nature of the world’s economy,” it said.
But HSBC warned that bad debts reached $3.89 billion in the first half, 19 percent more than a year ago.
Finance Director Douglas Flint acknowledged a more difficult mortgage-lending market in the U.S. and said the bank was “intentionally” reducing its presence in the unsecured credit market in the U.K. HSBC said in a statement that excessive consumer debt was becoming an increasing problem, particularly in Britain.
Shares in HSBC rose 0.6 percent to 979.5 pence ($18.25) on the London Stock Exchange.
“These are forecast-busting figures and management looks to have answered doubters of its move into investment banking in fine style,” said Keith Bowman, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.
He said HSBC was “a solid, diverse and well-managed bank with a growth strategy for investing in emerging markets.”