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HSBC FY20 Profit Down, Declares Dividend; Issues Strategy Update; Stock Up

Asia-focused lender HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBC,HSBA.L) reported Monday that its fiscal 2020 profit attributable to the ordinary shareholders of the parent company was $3.90 billion, down from 5.97 billion a year ago.

Basic earnings per share fell to $0.19 from $0.30 a year ago.

Profit before tax was down 34 percent to $8.78 billion, reflecting higher expected credit losses and other credit impairment charges or ECL and lower revenue, partly offset by a fall in operating expenses.

The latest results included a $1.3 billion impairment of software intangibles, while prior year's results included a $7.3 billion impairment of goodwill.

Adjusted profit before tax was $12.1 billion, compared to $22.15 billion a year ago.

Revenue for the year declined 10 percent to $50.43 billion from $56.10 billion a year ago, primarily due to the progressive impact of lower interest rates across the company's global businesses, in part offset by higher revenue in Global Markets.

Adjusted revenue was down 8 percent to $50.37 billion.

Net interest margin of 1.32 percent declined 26 basis points from 2019, due to the impact of lower global interest rates.

Common equity tier 1 or CET1 ratio of 15.9 percent grew 1.2 percentage points from 14.7 percent as of December 31, 2019.

Further, the Board has announced an interim dividend for 2020 of $0.15 per ordinary share, to be paid in cash with no scrip alternative.

The company said it will not be paying quarterly dividends during 2021 but will consider whether to announce an interim dividend at first-half results.

Looking ahead, HSBC said it will continue to target an adjusted cost base of $31 billion or less in 2022.

The company will also continue to target a gross RWA reduction of over $100 billion by the end of 2022.

"Given the significant changes in our operating environment during 2020, we no longer expect to reach our return on average tangible equity or RoTE target of between 10 percent and 12 percent in 2022 as originally planned. The company will now target a RoTE of greater than or equal to 10 percent in the medium term.

The company further said it recognises some fundamental shifts and have aligned strategy accordingly.

In Hong Kong, HSBC shares were trading at HK$48.05, up 3.33 percent.

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