Global banking giant HSBC said Monday that it had to take a massive $17 billion hit on its exposure to the collapsing US housing market and the resulting global credit crunch.
The bank said it was taking losses of $17.24 billion dollars in 2007s, with total impairment charges jumping 63 per cent last year.
Europe's largest bank, however, said net profit still managed a gain of 21 per cent to $19.13 billion as total income increased 25 per cent to $87.60 billion.
" 2007 was a year when large parts of the international financial system came under extraordinary strain," HSBC group chairman Stephen Green said in comments accompanying the earnings release.
"For HSBC to achieve another new high in earnings, despite these conditions and the exceptionally weak performance of our US business, underscores the value of the strategic focus we announced early last year to drive sustainable growth by concentrating on the faster growing markets of the world." (AFP)
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