HSBC just missed analysts' expectations with a near $22 billion profit last year, which marked the biggest profit among western banks thanks to its strength in Asia and other emerging markets.

HSBC <0005.HK>, Europe's biggest bank, on Monday reported 2011 profits of $21.9 billion, up 15 percent on the year but just below the average forecast of $22.2 billion from 13 analysts polled by Reuters. The profit included $3.9 billion of gains on the value of its own debt.

Profits at its investment bank were down 24 percent on 2010 at $7 billion, hurt as the euro zone debt crisis slowed capital markets activity in the second half of last year.

CEO Stuart Gulliver is reshaping HSBC to cut annual costs by $3.5 billion, lift profitability and sharpen its focus on Asia, and said he will step up the execution of his plan this year.

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by David Holmes)