HSBC Holdings Plc is a bank in limbo. Pandemic-related bad loans have messed up its cost-reduction plan. Coming in the crosshairs of the U.S.-China conflict made investors nervous about the jewel in its crown: the Hong Kong franchise.
Lower-for-longer interest rates aren’t good news for its margins. To that, add a U.K. regulatory ban on paying dividends, and there were ample reasons this year for investors to drive the stock price down to a 25-year low.