HSBC shares plunge in morning trading

HONG KONG: Shares in HSBC plunged on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Tuesday, after the banking titan reported disappointing results for 2009.

Shares in the heavyweight fell 6.35 percent to 81.15 Hong Kong dollars at around 0245 GMT, dragging the benchmark Hang Seng Index down by 0.67 percent.

HSBC announced Monday that net earnings rose nearly two percent to 5.83 billion dollars (4.28 billion euros) last year, lower than analysts' expectations of 6.4 billion dollars.

The bank said its bad debts continued to rise, buoyed by its investment banking division.

Its profit fell for units in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

HSBC said its loan impairments and other credit provisions jumped 6.2 percent to 26.5 billion dollars last year, while revenue fell 11.2 percent to 78.6 billion dollars.