HSBC’s 2017 pre-tax profit jumps 142%, but lags forecast due to US tax impact

The bank’s year-ago profit figure reflected a $3.2 billion impairment of goodwill in HSBC’s global private banking business in Europe and the impact of its sale of operations in Brazil. (Reuters)
Updated 20 February 2018
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HSBC’s 2017 pre-tax profit jumps 142%, but lags forecast due to US tax impact

HONG KONG: HSBC Holdings’ 2017 pre-tax profit rose 142 percent as the lender avoided the multi-billion dollar restructuring costs that marred its 2016 results but the profit growth lagged expectations as it took a writedown following US tax changes.
Europe’s biggest bank by market capitalization reported on Tuesday a profit before tax for 2017 of $17.2 billion, compared with $7.1 billion the year before and below the average estimate of $19.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data based on forecasts from 17 analysts.
Those estimates did not all take into account the tax writedown, triggered by cuts in the US corporate tax rate which meant banks had to book losses on deferred tax assets they built up during loss-making times.
HSBC said in its earnings statement that its 2017 financial results include a charge of $1.3 billion relating to the “remeasurement of US deferred tax balances” to reflect the reduction in the US federal tax rate to 21 percent from 2018.
The bank’s year-ago profit figure reflected a $3.2 billion impairment of goodwill in HSBC’s global private banking business in Europe and the impact of its sale of operations in Brazil.
HSBC’s reported revenues rose to $51.4 billion from $48 billion a year ago.


India’s richest man to battle Amazon, Walmart in e-commerce

Updated 2 min 4 sec ago
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India’s richest man to battle Amazon, Walmart in e-commerce

  • The businessman plans to start his e-commerce business in Gujarat and then expand into the rest of India
  • He says his new e-commerce platform will help enrich small retailers and shopkeepers in Gujart

MUMBAi: Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani announced details of a new online shopping platform Friday that will see his oil-to-telecoms conglomerate take on Amazon and Walmart in India’s burgeoning e-commerce market.
Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries, said the company’s telecoms and consumer businesses planned to roll out the venture in the western state of Gujarat before expanding across India.
“Jio and Reliance Retail will launch a unique new commerce platform to empower and enrich our 12 lakh (1.2 million) small retailers and shopkeepers in Gujarat,” Ambani told a summit attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ambani, 61, has been drip-feeding his e-commerce plans for India over the past few months in announcements that are no doubt being keenly watched by US giants Amazon and Walmart.
Reliance shook up India’s telecoms market in September 2016 when it launched its 4G Jio network with free voice calls for life and vastly cheaper data.
The launch sent the profits of other mobile players spiralling downwards and sparked consolidation across the industry as rivals scrambled to match Reliance’s deep pockets.
Amazon and leading Indian e-tailer Flipkart, which was bought by Walmart for $16 billion last year, have been expanding aggressively to gain a bigger slice of India’s growing online customers.
They have incurred huge losses along the way, however, and analysts say that Reliance’s entry into the e-commerce sphere will make their jobs even harder.
India’s e-commerce sales are expected to triple between now and 2022, when they are likely to pass the $100 billion mark, according to recent research by industry body NASSCOM and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The rise is being fuelled by greater smartphone penetration, in part thanks to Jio, and a rising middle class with more disposable income.