HSBC Q2 profit jumps more than estimated as bank announces up to US$2b buyback

Pedestrians walking past a HSBC signage in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong, on July 31, 2017.
Pedestrians walking past a HSBC signage in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong, on July 31, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - HSBC Holdings reported a bigger-than-estimated jump in second-quarter profit and announced it will buy back as much as US$2 billion of stock.

Reported pretax profit rose to US$5.3 billion from US$3.6 billion a year earlier, Europe's largest bank said in a statement on Monday (July 31). That compared with the US$4.6 billion average estimate of five analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief executive officer Stuart Gulliver has spent most of his tenure attempting to improve profitability by shrinking HSBC's vast global network, exiting almost 100 businesses and 18 countries. Gulliver is seeking to jump-start growth after five years of declining revenues and several costly misconduct scandals.

HSBC's North American unit passed a Federal Reserve stress test in June, clearing the way for more than US$3 billion of capital to be returned to shareholders, analysts said at the time.

The bank's incoming chairman Mark Tucker, who succeeds Douglas Flint in October, is already considering internal and external candidates to replace Gulliver, who is due to retire next year, a person familiar with the matter said.