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Asia helps HSBC hit $22bln profit

posted 27 Feb 2012, 05:09 by Mpelembe   [ updated 27 Feb 2012, 05:10 ]

Europe's biggest bank made a 21.9 billion dollar profit last year, the largest among western banks, as its strength in Asia helped it cope with a euro zone debt crisis.

UK-HSBC - After a slew of grim banking results, HSBC, has bucked the trend posting nearly 22 billion dollars of profits for 2011.

It said pretax profits rose 15 percent, beating all other western banks.

The results for Europe's biggest bank are partly due to its success in Asia.

The bank makes most of its money outside Europe and north America and has largely escaped the euro zone debt crisis which has hit most of its rivals.

It expects growth in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to help it grow further in 2012.

Banks across Europe have posted billions of dollars of losses as they try to meet tough new rules enforced to prevent another banking crisis.

Lloyds and RBS both posted massive losses in results last week.

Reports suggest both banks may now request low interest three-year loans from the ECB.

HSBC is reshaping its business model to cut annual costs by three and a half billion dollars.

Part of the plan is to sharpen its focus on Asia, where some of the world's most profitable banks currently are.

Shares were up half a percent in early trade.

Ciara Sutton, Reuters