HSBC posted profits before tax of $836 million from the Middle East and North Africa region, representing 7.8 percent of the 10.7 billion in profit reported worldwide in the first half of 2018, the bank announced on Monday.
HSBC also noted that it customer accounts worth $34.27 million in the MENA region, of which $16.215 million are from the UAE.
Additionally, HSBC reported $29.511 million in gross loans and advances to customers in the region, excluding Saudi Arabia.
HSBC’s overall pre-tax profit of $10.7 billion rose 4.58 percent, with the bank voicing “cautious optimism” despite the ongoing China-US trade row.
Following cutbacks of 50,000 jobs in 2015, HSBC announced that it is now hiring again as it seeks new growth areas.
"We are investing to win new customers, increase our market share, and lay the foundations for consistent growth in profits and returns," said HSBC Group CEO John Flint, adding that investments in H1 2018 have included the hiring of “more frontline staff in our strongest businesses and expanding our digital capabilities in core markets.”
HSBC’s revenues of $27.3 billion were also up six months in the first half of 2018, while the adjusted profit before tax of $12.1 billion down two percent, and tempered by a 7 percent rise in operating expenses to $17.5 billion which the bank says were a reflection in investments in digital capabilities.
In June, Flint noted that he plans to invest between $15 and $17 billion in growth and technology projects, with a particular focus on Asia.
The London-based bank’s results represent a change in fortunes after several years, after earnings fell sharply in 2016 amidst massive writedowns and restructuring changes.
In January, HSBC agreed to pay over $100 million to US authorities after admitting it defrauded clients during multi-billion dollar foreign exchange transactions.
In December, US authorities lifted the threat of prosecution against the bank five years after it admitted to moving hundreds of billions of dollars for Mexican criminal organisations and illegally serving clients in Iran, Sudan and elsewhere in violation of US sanctions.
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