HSBC’s new CEO John Flint announced a $2bn share buyback, seeking to placate investors as he works to bolster growth at the global bank he inherited in February. The buyback is expected to be HSBC’s only one in 2018 "given the growth opportunities we currently see", the company said in an investor presentation Friday. It came as HSBC announced first-quarter revenue and profit that largely matched analysts’ expectations. Costs, however, rose 8% on an adjusted basis, a faster pace than revenue. The results underscore the strong hand dealt to Flint, who has taken the Asia-focused lender back into expansion mode after years of restructuring, when it lost tens of billions of dollars in revenue and suffered misconduct fines. The new CEO is finalising his own strategic plan, scheduled for June, and is considering exiting more countries and boosting spending on technology. On the other hand, the rising costs and subdued return on equity reflect some of the challenges Flint still faces. HSBC...

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