HSBC says quarterly profit dips, plans $2B share buyback

Global bank HSBC says pretax profits dipped in the latest quarter because of higher operating costs.

The bank also said Friday that it's planning to buy back up to $2 billion in shares. It was its first quarterly earnings report under new Chief Executive John Flint, who took over in February.

London-based HSBC is Europe's biggest bank, but earns most of its profits from Asia.

The bank said that pretax profit slipped 4 percent to $4.8 billion as operating expenses for business investment and enhancing "digital capabilities" rose faster than revenue.

Flint said that HSBC is benefiting from interest rate hikes and economic growth, particularly in Asia.

He said that the bank's "primary focus is to grow the businesses safely, and we have increased investment to deliver that aim."