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HSBC says profits up

LONDON, Nov 10 – HSBC, Europe\’s biggest bank, said on Tuesday that pre-tax profits during the third quarter were "significantly ahead" compared with the equivalent period a year earlier.

In a trading update that did not provide figures, HSBC also said that its expenses linked to loan defaults fell to their lowest quarterly level in more than a year.

"Pre-tax profit for the third quarter of 2009 was significantly ahead of the third quarter 2008," HSBC said in a statement.

Chief executive Michael Geoghegan added: "Driven by stabilised credit performance in the US, loan impairment charges have fallen to their lowest quarterly level for over a year."

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