URGENT ¥¥¥ HSBC bank says 2012 net profit drops 16.5%

Asia-focused banking giant HSBC announced on Monday that net profits sank by 16.5 percent to $14.03 billion (10.78 billion euros) in 2012 compared with the previous year.

Profit after tax had stood at $16.8 billion in 2011, London-headquartered HSBC said in a results statement.