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Foreign Exchange

FX news: Q3 profits at HSBC, Commerzbank, and Barclays

HSBC released its interim management statement last Friday but followed the Lloyds model of being light on real figures. The only numbers published were those the bank was obliged to publish: for its US operations. The management statement says that HSBC saw the market as being as subdued: “Global Banking and Markets’ performance in the quarter was robust, although trading activity was lower, reflecting seasonal factors and more subdued market sentiment and conditions.”

However, profitability is looking promising – although we’ll have to wait till next February for the numbers: “Global banking and markets pre-tax profits for Q3 2010 and the year to date remained strong by historical standards and were second only to last year’s exceptional performance.”

On Monday Commerzbank declared its figures for Q3. The bank stresses its focus on a “client-centric” strategy. It says: “At €422 million, trading profit rose over the second quarter of 2010 (€316 million) by one third, contrary to the industry trend”. Some of that is attributable to the Portfolio Structuring Unit, which “is responsible for managing down assets related to discontinued proprietary trading and investment activities which no longer fit”.

The Q3 trading profit of the Corporates & Markets segment (equity trading, corporate finance and fixed income and currency trading) “was clearly positive at €313 million – after €187 million in the second quarter – in particular thanks to the pleasing development in fixed income and currencies business for customers.”


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