/HSBC beats estimates, reports 36% year-on-year fall in pre-tax profit for the third quarter

HSBC beats estimates, reports 36% year-on-year fall in pre-tax profit for the third quarter

Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk past a logo displayed at a HSBC bank branch in the central district of Hong Kong.
Roy Liu| Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — HSBC, Europe’s largest bank by assets, on Tuesday reported a 36% year-on-year fall in third-quarter pre-tax profit to $ 3.1 billion in the third quarter as it attempts to recover from the economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysts had expected the bank’s pre-tax profit to come in at around $ 2.07 billion in the third quarter, according to estimates compiled by the bank. In the third quarter last year, the bank recorded $ 4.84 billion in profits before tax.

Before the earnings release, Jackson Wong, asset management director at Amber Hill Capital, said HSBC’s prospects could start to improve if Covid-19 cases around the world don’t get much worse.

“I think the worst probably could be over,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.

“We haven’t seen a very bright future at this point so it could be (starting) to turn better, but it’s not very robust at this point yet,” he added.

HSBC is traditionally favored by investors for its steady dividend payouts. But the bank has stopped paying dividends as British regulators urged commercial lenders to preserve capital.

The bank’s Hong Kong-listed shares have plunged by 47% this year as of Friday, while its London-listed shares dived 45.7% over the same period, data by Refinitiv showed.

HSBC’s financial results follow that of other European banks, many of which have beaten analysts’ expectations.

Last week, fellow British lender Barclays reported third-quarter net profit that was more than double what analysts had forecast as the bank set aside less money for potential bad loans.

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