Shares in HSBC were up in morning trading on the FTSE 100 after the bank posted a rise in pre-tax profit in the half year ended 30 June.

The banking giant said that its pre-tax profit more than doubled to $11.1 billion in the period. The group said its loan impairment charges and other credit risk provisions dropped by $6.4 billion to $7.5 billion.

The group said that declared dividends were $2.8 billion, equivalent to 16 cents per ordinary share.

Commercial banking at HSBC performed well thanks to rebounding international trade, while the group reported strong profits in its Asian business.

In Europe the bank saw its profits rise 31.7 per cent to $3.5 billion, in Hong Kong profits were up 25.9 per cent to $2.9 billion, while in the rest of Asia-Pacific profits were up 26.9 per cent to $3 billion.

In the Middle East profits were up 3.1 per cent to $346 million, in North America the group made a profit of $492 million and in Latin America profits increased eight per cent to $883 million.

Richard Hunter, Head of UK Equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, commented, "It is too early to say whether we have witnessed saving the best until first, but HSBC have opened the UK half-yearly reporting season in some style.

"The company has been in the thick of the action since day one, being one of the first to highlight the sub-prime meltdown. Although the bank inevitably suffered throughout the crisis, it maintained its dividend and was bolstered by its significant Asian exposure. Today's numbers underline the overall strength of the bank, whilst the dramatic reduction in the loan impairment provision is an additional bonus.

"More recently, the shares have struggled to make headway, having lost 5% over the last six months whilst the wider FTSE100 has given up just 0.5%. Nonetheless, these figures may render the company worthy of a revisit for many investors and the general market view of the shares as a buy seems to have been vindicated today."

By 09:55 shares in HSBC were up 3.76 per cent to 670.30 pence per share on the FTSE 100.