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HSBC’s profit after tax came in at $6.26 billion in the three months ended September, jumping 235% compared to the $2.66 billion in the same period last year.

Europe largest bank by assets also saw profit before tax for the quarter rise by $4.5 billion to $7.7 billion, mainly due to a higher interest rate environment.

However, the numbers missed expectations by economists, who were forecasting a third quarter profit after tax figure of $6.42 billion and profit before tax of $8.1 billion.

HSBC said the increase was in part due to a $2.3 billion impairment in the third quarter of 2022 relating to the planned sale of its retail banking operations in France.

Of that, $2.1 billion was reversed in the first quarter of 2023 as it became less certain that the transaction would be completed.

“We now expect to reclassify these operations to held for sale in 4Q23, at which point the impairment would be reinstated,” it said.

Revenue rose to $7.71 billion in the third quarter, up from $3.23 billion a year ago. HSBC also attributed this to the higher interest rate environment, saying that it has supported growth in net interest income in all of its global businesses.

Net interest margin — a measure of lending profitability — stood at of 1.7%, up by 19 basis points year on year and beating estimates of 1.68%.

However, NIM fell two basis points compared with the previous quarter. This reflected an increase in customers migrating their deposits to term products, particularly in Asia, HSBC said.

For the nine months ended September, profit after tax stood at $24.33 billion, compared to $11.59 billion in the first nine months of 2022.

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HSBC’s Hong Kong-listed shares rose 0.43% after the announcement.

In light of the results, the bank’s board approved a third interim dividend of 10 cents per share. HSBC also said it will initiate a further share buy-back of up to $3 billion, which is expected to “commence shortly” and be completed by its full-year results announcement on Feb. 21, 2024.

“We’re pleased to again reward our shareholders. We have now announced three share buybacks in 2023 totaling up to $7 billion, as well as three quarterly dividends which total $0.30 per share,” group CEO Noel Quinn said in the release. “This underlines the substantial distribution capacity that we have, even as we continue to invest in growth.”

The buyback is expected to have a 0.4 percentage point impact on its common equity tier 1 capital ratio, or CET1 ratio, the bank said. The CET1 ratio is a measure of the financial resilience for European banks.

Moving forward, HSBC said it plans to reduce its CET1 ratio to between 14% to 14.5%, down from the current level of 14.9%. It revealed that its dividend payout ratio is 50% for 2023 and 2024, excluding material notable items.

Correction: The headline has been updated to reflect that HSBC announced a $3 billion share buyback.

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