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Foreign Exchange

FX news: HSBC and BNP Paribas Q2 results

On Monday it was the turn of HSBC and BNP Paribas to report their interim results; as usual one had to dig a little to uncover a hint of FX performance.

In all the 263 pages of the HSBC report, for H1 2010 rather than Q2 2010, there are no figures for FX of course, but there is “Trading activities” which is exclusive of “net interest income on trading activities”. The figure for “Trading activities” includes credit trading amongst other non-FX ‘activities’ so it’s not possible to gauge how much of the reported $3.419 billion is due to FX; or even, if the other products were taken out, how much more than that figure FX contributed.

In the notes we find that “Global Banking and Markets reported its second best performance of any half year period” and that “revenues slowed in the second quarter of 2010 as European sovereign debt concerns and widening credit spreads suppressed client activity and reduced demand for foreign exchange, credit and rates products.” However, “Performance in the foreign exchange business remained strong but suffered from a reduction in market volatility and customer-driven volumes compared with the unprecedented levels experienced in late 2008 and early 2009.”

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