HONG KONG/LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings Plc posted on Tuesday an increase of 15.9 percent in 2018 profit, as the bank avoided tax writedowns that marred its results a year earlier and earnings in its key market of Asia grew.
HSBC reported a profit before tax of $19.9 billion for 2018 compared with $17.2 billion the year before. The profit for the year, however, was below an average estimate of $22 billion, according to Refinitiv data based on forecasts from 17 analysts.
Europe's biggest bank by market capitalisation said it would pay a full-year dividend of $0.51 per share, roughly in line with analysts' expectations. The bank was confident of maintaining the dividend at this level, it said.
(Reporting By Sumeet Chatterjee and Lawrence White; additional reporting by Alun John in Hong Kong; Editing by Himani Sarkar)