HSBC Holdings announce a fourth interim dividend of $0.31 per share

DividendMax Ltd.

HSBC Holdings announce a fourth interim dividend of $0.31 per share

The HSBC Board has approved a fourth interim dividend of $0.31 per share, resulting in a total for 2023 of $0.61 per share. They also intend to initiate a share buy-back of up to $2.0bn, which they expect to complete by their first quarter 2024 results announcement.

Other financial highlights include:

-  Profit before tax rose by $13.3bn to $30.3bn, primarily reflecting revenue growth. This included a favourable year-on-year impact of $2.5bn relating to the sale of their retail banking operations in France, which completed on 1 January 2024, and a $1.6bn provisional gain recognised on the acquisition of Silicon Valley Bank UK Limited ('SVB UK') in 2023. These were partly offset by the recognition of an impairment charge in 2023 of $3.0bn relating to the investment in their associate, Bank of Communications Co., Limited ('BoCom'), which followed the reassessment of their accounting value-in-use. On a constant currency basis, profit before tax increased by $13.8bn to $30.3bn. Profit after tax increased by $8.3bn to $24.6bn.

-  Revenue rose by $15.4bn or 30% to $66.1bn, including growth in net interest income ('NII') of $5.4bn, with rises in all of their global businesses due to the higher interest rate environment. Non-interest income increased by $10.0bn, reflecting a rise in trading and fair value income of $6.4bn, mainly in Global Banking and Markets. The associated funding costs reported in NII grew by $6.2bn. The increase also included the impact of the strategic transactions referred to above, partly offset by disposal losses of $1.0bn relating to repositioning and risk management activities in their hold-to-collect-and-sell portfolio.

-  Net interest margin ('NIM') of 1.66% increased by 24 basis points ('bps'), reflecting higher interest rates.

-  Expected credit losses and other credit impairment charges ('ECL') were $3.4bn, a reduction of $0.1bn. The net charge in 2023 primarily comprised stage 3 charges, notably related to mainland China commercial real estate sector exposures. It also reflected continued economic uncertainty, rising interest rates and inflationary pressures. ECL were 33bps of average gross loans, including a 3bps reduction due to the inclusion of loans and advances classified as held for sale.

-  Operating expenses fell by $0.6bn or 2% to $32.1bn, mainly due to the non-recurrence of restructuring and other related costs following the completion of their cost to achieve programme at the end of 2022. This more than offset higher technology costs, inflationary pressures and an increase in performance-related pay. They also incurred a higher UK bank levy and a charge relating to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ('FDIC') special assessment in the US. Target basis operating expenses rose by 6%. This is measured on a constant currency basis, excluding notable items and the impact of the acquisition of SVB UK and related investments internationally. It also excludes the impact of retranslating the prior year results of hyperinflationary economies at constant currency.

-  Customer lending balances rose by $15bn on a reported basis, but fell by $3bn on a constant currency basis. Growth included a $7.8bn reclassification of secured loans in France from held for sale, an addition of $8bn from the acquisition of SVB UK, and higher mortgage balances in HSBC UK and Hong Kong. These increases were more than offset by a reduction in wholesale term lending, notably in Asia, and from business divestments in Oman and New Zealand.

-  Customer accounts rose by $41bn on a reported basis, and $13bn on a constant currency basis, primarily in Wealth and Personal Banking, reflecting growth in Asia, partly offset by reductions in HSBC UK, reflecting cost of living pressures and the competitive environment, despite an increase of $6bn from the acquisition of SVB UK. There was also a reduction due to the sale of their business in Oman.

-  Common equity tier 1 ('CET1') capital ratio of 14.8% rose by 0.6 percentage points, as capital generation was partly offset by dividends and share buy-backs.

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