HSBC has weathered the financial crisis better than many of its rivals, but the bank is still expected to announce it needs more capital when it unveils its annual results tomorrow. HSBC was one of the first banks to warn about the subprime crisis and one of the few not to beg for government handouts, but any fund-raising move would provide a telling sign of the ferocity of the global slowdown.
A string of analyst and newspaper reports in recent months have said the bank needs extra capital. In the most recent, the Financial Times cited unnamed sources that said the London-based bank would announce a US$17 billion share offer when it unveils its annual figures. The report also said the bank would cut its usually-strong dividend payment, which has kept the stock as a solid bet for both retail and institutional investors. An HSBC spokesman today declined to comment on the report. *AFP