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Morning Briefing

Morning Briefing

HSBC has said that the outcome of its review on whether to move its headquarters from the UK could be delayed until 2016 as it reported a rise in third-quarter profits on the back of a fall in fines.

"Whilst the target for completion of the review was initially set as by the end of 2015, this is a self-imposed deadline that can be moved should the board require further work to be performed. An announcement will be made when the board makes its final decision and, if necessary, a further update will be provided at the time of the full year results announcement," the bank said.

The bank's nine-month profits were up 16 percent at $19.7 billion and profits in the third quarter were 32 percent higher at $6.1 billion, mainly because of a $1.4 billion fall in fines and customer compensation.

Meanwhile, Spain's bailed-out lender, Bankia, revealed that its net profit for the third quarter was slightly higher than expected at $331 million, although revenue from lending fell.

African bank Atlas Mara has said that it has agreed to acquire all of Finance Bank of Zambia for at least $60 million in cash as well as 2.6 million in Atlas Mara shares. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016 and will make Atlas Mara Zambia's largest bank by branch network.

Germany's Commerzbank said it will still pay a whole-year dividend to shareholders despite a fall in third-quarter profits. Net profit fell by eight percent to $228 million in the period from July to September as a result of an increased tax bill and restructuring of expenses.

Cost-cutting in banks across Europe has been put under the spotlight by the Wall Street Journal, which says some of the minutiae of cuts include halving the amount of times branch windows are cleaned, switching off light in executive offices at a set time and getting bank staff to clean their own computers with wet wipes.

In India, Moody's has changed the outlook for the banking system from negative to stable as a result of a gradual improvement in the operating environment for banks.

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