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Bad debts sink HSBC profits by 57 percent

HSBC's first-half net profit slumped 57 percent to 2.35 billon euros due to bad debts, the bank reported on Monday. HSBC says it is "strongly positioned for the upturn" but warns that the "economic outlook remains uncertain".

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AFP - HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, said on Monday that first-half net profits slumped by 57 percent to 3.35 billion dollars (2.35 billion euros) as bad debts ballooned to nearly 14 billion dollars.

Impairment charges and other credit provisions soared by 39 percent to 13.9 billion dollars in the six months to June, compared with the figure in the same period of last year, HSBC said in a results statement.

The bank added that it was "strongly positioned for the upturn" but warned that the "economic outlook remains uncertain".

Pre-tax profits sank by 51 percent to 5.019 billion dollars in the reporting period, while group net operating income fell 12 percent to 34.741 billion dollars.

"Our performance proves our ability to deliver profit, generate capital and make distributions to our shareholders throughout the business cycle -- even in challenging market conditions," HSBC Chairman Stephen Green said in the earnings release.

"We are pleased with our results and profitability overall is ahead of the expectations we had at the outset of this year.

"In large part this reflects an excellent performance in our Global Banking and Markets business."

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