HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, was widely expected to announce that it will buy back its own shares at between $1.5 billion to $4 billion in the second half of 2017, market watchers said.
The bank had disappointed markets with just a $1 billion share buyback plan in the first six months of the year, after spending $2.5 billion doing so last year in a bid to wind down its cash stockpile.
“We expect a buyback of $2.5 billion to be announced for 2H17 — a lower figure would be seen as a disappointment we think,” Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a note.
The announcement was expected to come along with an increase in pre-tax profit in the second quarter, helped by better global economic conditions and fewer bad loans.
Alex Wong, director of asset management at Ample Capital, told CNBC he expected a 20 to 25 percent jump in second quarter pre-tax profit.
HSBC shares, a heavyweight on the Hang Seng Index, have risen 23 percent as of Friday’s close.
Investors await news of HSBC buyback plan when bank announces second-quarter results