BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

HSBC Singapore aims ambitious: US$1 billion in profits

HSBC Singapore is 60% on the way to achieving its profit target of US$1 billion by 2016.

CEO Alex Hungate said the branch posted a pre-tax profit of almost US$600 million for 2011, up 14% year-on-year.

He said the higher pre-tax profit was due largely to increased market shares in trade, wealth management and financial markets. The bank’s commercial and global banking segments recorded the strongest growth while its total loans business grew 18% to US$25 billion.

It aims to further strengthen that position with new investments to enhance its trade banking capability.

Hungate said the area they weren't really servicing until this year is commodity-structured trade finance. But that’s about to change.

“The fact that we've hired 20 new people in that space allows us to fill that gap and continue to grow our relationship with big commodity and energy companies that are based here in Singapore,” he said.

“In the medium term, we're looking to grow about 200 new people per year."

He said the bank was hiring people into the bank at the same time it’s restructuring.

“I think you can be confident that in the coming years that growth story will continue and we will be a net hirer.”

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