HSBC (LON:HSBA) reported positive half yearly earnings this morning, with a pre-tax profit of $13.6 billion, up 10% on a year ago.

Figures were driven by strong performance in Hong Kong, with a surge in individual investments and a strong Chinese market earlier in the year. Asia now accounts for two thirds of the bank’s profits, and HSBC are considering moving their headquarters back to Hong Kong.

Growth in Europe and the US remains slow, with the group agreeing to sell its Brazilian opearations for $5.2 billion as it attempts to cut underperforming sectors of the business. The bank has also pledged to cut 50,000 jobs, with over half in brazil and Turkey.

“The environment for banking remains challenging,” said Douglas Flint, the group’s chairman. He mentioned that economic conditions are uncertain in many parts of the world, and “regulatory workloads have never been higher”.

“HSBC’s wealth management revenues in Hong Kong from equities, mutual funds and asset management increased significantly.”

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