HSBC 2012 profit dips to $20.6bn, to lift dividend

LONDON: HSBC Holdings fell short of expectations with a near $21 billion pretax profit for last year, but pledged to increase its dividend next year as strong growth in Hong Kong and other core Asian markets boost its capital.

HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, said on Monday it made a 2012 pretax profit of $20.6 billion, down 6 percent from the year before and below the average forecast of $22.7 billion from 28 analysts polled by Reuters. Profits were hurt by a $5.2 billion loss on the value of its own debt.

The bank said it plans to bump up its first three interim dividends for next year by 11 percent to 10 cents per share.