London - HSBC just missed analysts’ expectations with a near
$22bn profit last year, which marked the biggest profit among Western banks
thanks to its strength in Asia and other emerging markets.
HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, on Monday reported 2011 profits
of $21.9bn, up 15% on the year but just below the average forecast of $22.2bn
from 13 analysts polled by Reuters. The profit included $3.9bn of gains on the
value of its own debt.
Profits at its investment bank were down 24% on 2010 at
$7bn, hurt as the eurozone debt crisis slowed capital markets activity in the
second half of last year.
CEO Stuart Gulliver is reshaping HSBC to cut annual costs by
$3.5bn, lift profitability and sharpen its focus on Asia, and said he will step
up the execution of his plan this year.