21 MARCH 1931, Page 46


There are two points which emerge very clearly from the latest annual report of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The first is that, notwithstanding disturbed conditions in China, that well-managed institution continues to progress in the matter of its general activities and usefulness to the trade of China. The other point is that when translated into sterling, the conditions have been gravely affected by the great depreciation in Chinese currency because, of course, the profits have to be remitted home in sterling. As regards the first of these points, the Report shows that, as measured in local currency, deposits showed an increase of nearly $200,000,000, but translated into sterling there is a decline of just under £1,000,000, the total standing at £34,420,000. Again, as regards the net profits, which in dollars amounted to $24,114,000, the comparison is with $17,546,000 for the previous year, but whereas a year ago the remittance of the amount home at an exchange of ls. 74d. absorbed $7,876,923, the maintenance of the same dividend at the rate of £3 per share, with a bonus of £1 per share, absorbed on the basis of an exchange of ls. 11d., $11,702,857.

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