The worse-that-expected result of HSBC Holdings and its Hong Kong unit, Hang Seng Bank, contributed to the decline of the blue-chip index today, amid the uncertainty over whether the city's chief executive would resign early than expected.
Reuters reported that HSBC Holdings, which accounts for around one-third of the weighting of the Hang Seng Index, fell 1.53 percent to HK$128.50. It has shed 3.75 percent since announcing earnings late on Monday.
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp, the Asia Unit of HSBC Holdings, reported a 37 per cent rise in 2004 pertax profit to HK$17.61 billion, at the low end of the range of $17.20 billion to $18.92 billion in a Reuter Poll of 10 analysts.
Hang Seng bank, the second-largest listed bank in Hong Kong in terms of market capitalisation, reported a 14 percent rise in its second-half profit. while its operating profit operating income jumped 22 percent to HK$6.4 billion. The 2004 net income rose 20 per cent to $11.4 billion, compared with the expected $11.1 billion in a Reuters poll of 26 analysts.
The news of the resignation of the city's chief executive mixed the opinions in the market. Reuters said that some traders thought it would provide a short term lift to sentiment, while others said the rumors had already driven the market down.
"I know you all have a lot of questions in your heart, I will explain when it is appropriate". Our CE told reporters at a brief press conference in Beijing. But when?