Despite weathering Covid, HSBC shouldn't be paying dividends now | Larry Elliott

With a big presence in Asia, where economies haven’t been hit as hard, the bank is feeling optimistic

With Covid-19 cases surging across much of the developed world, it is a brave call to say that the worst of the pandemic is over. That, though, is the view of HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, which has cut its provisions for bad loans and said it is considering the resumption of dividend payments to shareholders.

There is a good reason why HSBC is relatively upbeat about the outlook. It has a big presence in the part of the world – Asia – that has done best in controlling the virus and limiting its impact on the economy.

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