HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE:HBC) posted a 23 percent increase in net profits in the first half of 2013 as the bank’s solid performance was boosted by strong earnings in the investment-banking division, which recorded a 13 percent increase in profit before tax to $5.72 billion in the first half of this year.
The share price immediately began to falter though as revenue fell seven percent to $34.4 billion. HSBC shares fell about 50 cents on the London Stock Exchange to 722 pence and by $2.54 to $55.42 on the NYSE.
New profit for ordinary shareholders was $10 billion, compared with $8.15 billion in the first half of 2012.
Underlying costs fell 8 percent because of lower regulatory fines and charges for the misselling of financial products, the bank said.
Fears that the company was suffering because of a slowdown in emerging economies, primarily China, was overblown, according to Chief Executive, Stuart Gulliver.
"There is some wishful thinking in the West that China is slowing down in some uncontrolled way," he said. "We are reasonably sanguine."
This year alone HSBC has sold 11 business, and 54 in total since 2011 as part of its global strategy to slim its operations. Gulliver said the business that were offloaded were no longer part of HSBC’s strategy going forward.
The bank continues to off-load its U.S. consumer loan book, bringing total loans down from by $10 billion to $36 billion from last year.