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Last Updated: Monday, 1 August, 2005, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Global consumer trade boosts HSBC
HSBC is the world's second-largest bank by market value
The bank is tackling UK bad debt
Global bank HSBC Holdings saw group pre-tax profits rise 5% after strong results at its consumer finance arm.

Profits rose to $10.64bn (6bn) for the six months to July, from $10.12bn in 2004, the world's second-largest bank by market value said.

HSBC said that the UK - which accounts for less than a quarter of its earnings - continued to be its worst market for bad debt.

But it said action taken to deal with this was beginning to have an impact.

'Continued progress'

At close on Monday shares in HSBC were up by 7.5 pence, or 0.81%, at 930.50 pence.

In each of Argentina, Indonesia, the Middle East and Turkey, we achieved growth in pre-tax profits of 50% or more
John Bond, chairman HSBC

"The first half of 2005 was one of continued progress for HSBC," said Sir John Bond, group chairman.

He said the results were an indication of HSBC's success in expanding consumer finance in emerging markets.

The bank has been targeting growing middle class markets in Brazil, Mexico and China.

Mr Bond said one of the strengths of HSBC - which brands itself as the world's "local bank" - was its banking network spanning 77 countries and territories.

"In each of Argentina, Indonesia, the Middle East and Turkey, we achieved growth in pre-tax profits of 50% or more," he said.

Growth in pre-tax profits in Mexico and Brazil exceeded 20%, while in mainland China profits have grown five-fold following HSBC's 2004 investment in Bank of Communications.




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