HSBC shares were up this morning following the official news that the bank’s profits more than doubled to £7.1 billion in the first six months of this year.
Britain’s biggest banks are all expected to post profitable results this week, in some cases for the first time in two years.
But HSBC set the ball rolling by announcing soaring profits of up to a 121 per cent increase, pre-tax.
HSBC's booming profits were mostly driven by a sharp fall in bad loans to the lowest level since the financial crisis began.
Chief executive Michael Geoghegan stressed that emerging markets were now the focus for the bank, which stations many of its senior staff in Hong Kong.
He said: “Global demand will remain constrained as long as we face the likelihood of anaemic growth in various Western nations.
"But while these economies come to terms with austerity, we remain bullish on the outlook for emerging markets - both short and long term."
The good news from the banking sector has sparked confidence within the markets with the FSTE 100 shooting up by 2 per cent yesterday. HSBC shares closed up by more than five per cent and other banking stocks also benefited, with Barclays up nearly three per cent, and Lloyds and RBS up by 3.88 per cent and 4.28 per cent.
The other major banks are expected to post their results for the first half of 2010 later this week. Investors will be keen to see how the taxpayer backed banks Lloyds and RBS have performed. Lloyds Banking Group is expected to bounce back from a £4billion loss and RBS is heading for a profit of £120million.
© Fair Investment Company Ltd