HONG KONG/LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings PLC posted on Friday an unexpected 4 percent drop in first-quarter pre-tax profit, missing estimates, and announced plans to initiate a new share buyback of up to $2 billion.
“Given the growth opportunities we currently see, we expect this to be the only share buyback that we announce in 2018,” Europe’s biggest bank by assets said, adding the process was expected to start shortly.
The bank’s pre-tax profit of $4.76 billion for the three months ended March 31 compared to $4.96 billion in the year-ago period. The profit in the latest quarter was below the $5.76 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by the bank. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Lawrence White; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)