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HSBC posted a pre-tax profit of $5.2bn in the final three months of last year, beating analysts’ expectations, and said it would consider paying shareholders a special dividend once it completes the sale of its Canadian business.

Profits at the London-listed bank rose more than 90 percent from the same period a year earlier as higher interest rates boosted earnings.

However, the bank’s full-year pre-tax profit fell by $1.4bn, due to the impact of the planned sale of its retail banking operations in France.

Chief executive Noel Quinn said: “2022 will be another good year for HSBC”, adding: “We have completed the first phase of our transformation and our international connectivity is now generating good, broad-based profitability around the world.”

The bank approved a total dividend of 32 cents per share for 2022, and said the special dividend would be a “preferred use” of the proceeds from the $10bn sale to Royal Bank of Canada.

Net interest income rose to $32.6bn for the full year from $26bn in 2021, a sign of how far rising interest rates have helped boost banks’ profits. HSBC, one of the world’s largest deposit-taking institutions, is particularly sensitive to changes in rates.

The bank reported $3.6bn in expected loan losses and other impairments for the year, which it said “reflected increased economic uncertainty”. [from] Inflation, Rising Interest Rates and Supply Chain Risks” and China’s Real Estate Crisis.

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