HSBC Holdings plc Annual General Meeting and Trading Update
The following forms the Groupís trading update ahead of its close period for the half-year ending 30 June 2007. This reflects speeches given by Stephen Green, Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc, and Michael Geoghegan, Group Chief Executive, at the Annual General Meeting of HSBC Holdings plc:
The Group has made a good start to 2007, with particularly strong performances in Hong Kong and generally in Asia.
In Hong Kong, we are capitalising on the current robust equity markets to boost investment related fees and broking income, and are also seeing solid deposit growth with some widening of spreads. Across Asia, domestic economies are growing well as trade flows remain strong. Against this background, our businesses are generally doing well. In China, we have also recognised exceptional profits of some US$600 million from our strategic investments following the recent share offerings in Ping An Insurance and Industrial Bank.
In North America, including our Consumer Finance operations, performance is in line with our expectations and we continue to be excited by the progress of our direct deposit offering which has now reached US$11.5 billion in deposits.
In Europe revenue growth is constrained as a result of our credit appetite and competitive forces and our major focus has been on savings products which have grown strongly by 12 per cent in the UK. Underlying credit impairment experience in the UK Bank was broadly in line with the previous quarter.
In Latin America, revenue growth continues to be encouraging and in line with expense growth as we build out our businesses in the region.
Commercial and corporate credit experience remains favourable.
Private Banking continued to deliver excellent results through growth in customer assets and fees from structured products and investment funds.
Our Corporate, Investment Banking and Markets business is positioned to be íemerging markets led and financing focussedí. This was well evidenced in its first quarter results with over half its pre-tax profits delivered from Asia and Latin America with particularly strong performances in foreign exchange and securities services. Balance sheet management revenues also continued to recover, particularly in Hong Kong.
All in all we are encouraged by the start to the year.
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