HSBC stocks spike by 50% after record lows

Photo: EPA Noel Quinn

The major British bank HSBC saw its shares edge by 50 percent since September as it struggled on European and Asian markets. Investors eye the bank as very lucrative option in the middle of pandemic chaos and thus pour fresh capital in HSBC shares. In October, HSBC recorded better-than-expected third quarter results on cost savings.

Despite profits being down 46%, its operations in Asia "continued to perform resiliently" with pre-tax profits of $3,2bn, BBC reported. Last month, HSBC surged as much as 8% on optimism that it may soon resume paying dividends. Investors have also been more positive on financial stocks in general with hopes that a Covid-19 vaccine will boost the global economy.

HSBC is currently pushing ahead with major restructuring of its global banking operations. Chief executive Noel Quinn said the bank would "accelerate" an earlier restructuring plan, which includes the axing of 35,000 jobs.

It is also weighing up a complete exit from retail banking in the US to focus on its more profitable businesses in Asia, according to sources quoted by the Financial Times. Quinn has pledged to go "further and faster on our cost and risk-weighted asset reduction programmes", after setting aside $7,7bn for potential loan losses during the pandemic.

In September, HSBC's share price fell to its lowest level since 1995 amid allegations of money laundering. The bank also became embroiled in a political battle over its support of China's national security law in Hong Kong. leading it be lambasted by both the US and UK.

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