HSBC soothes shareholders as profits triple

STORY: HSBC is moving to reassure shareholders amid global jitters over banking.

On Tuesday (May 2) the lending giant said its profits tripled over the first quarter.

They jumped to $12.9 billion - or about 50% up on analyst forecasts.

The bank said rising interest rates had helped boost its income.

It also cheered investors with news that it would pay a first dividend since 2019.

The move saw its shares leap around 5% by late morning in Europe.

Chief Executive Noel Quinn said the numbers showed the bank’s strength in a world of rising rates.

He also played down fears of a global banking crisis following the collapse of U.S. lender First Republic.

It was seized by regulators on Monday (May 1), with its assets sold to U.S. bank JP Morgan.

But Quinn said he saw no risk of further contagion to other firms.

HSBC still faces challenges over strategy, however.

The bank is trying to shift focus to Asia instead of slow-growing western markets.

But it says a sale of its French unit could yet fall through, while a sale of its Canadian business faces delays.