HSBC Holdings Plc’s Middle East and North Africa unit boosted pre-tax profit by 67 percent as provisions for bad loans dropped.
Pretax profit surged to $1.5 billion from $892 million a year earlier, the bank said in a statement on its website today. Impairment charges declined to $293 million from $627 million a year earlier.
“Despite political unrest and economic pressures, profits increased in all countries” with the exception of Qatar and Jordan, according to the statement. Profit in Qatar was hurt by new regulations on foreign banks, while in Jordan it booked an loan impairment charge related to a corporate customer.
The United Arab Emirates contributed $575 million to the bank’s profit, followed by $361 million from Saudi Arabia and $225 million from Egypt. Total loans and advances grew to $25.9 billion last year from $24.6 billion a year ago.
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