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HSBC to lift dividend though 2012 profits dip

HSBC to lift dividend though 2012 profits dip
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HSBC is to increase its dividend as strong growth in Hong Kong and other core Asian markets boosted its capital even though annual profit fell short of expectations.

Europe’s largest bank said it made a pretax profit in 2012 that was the equivalent of fifteen point 15.8 billion euros.

That was down six percent from the previous year.

It also had to pay out 1.46 billion euros in fines for money laundering, and set aside 1.77 billion euros for compensation payments after the mis-selling of financial products in Britain.

HSBC has closed or sold 47 businesses and reduced staff by 10 percent over the past two years to cut costs, boost profits and manage risk.

It is ahead of schedule on squeezing costs, but said improving profitability has been more difficult due to the weak global economy and higher regulatory costs.