(Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc Chairman Mark Tucker talked up the prospects for China’s economy, even as the bank set aside more provisions for possible losses in the mainland. 

“China’s recovery after reopening was bumpier than expected, but its economy grew in line with its annual target of around 5% in 2023,” he said in a statement as the bank announced its full-year earnings. “We expect this to be maintained in 2024, with recently announced policy measures to support the property sector and local government debt gradually flowing through to the wider economy.”

The comments came even as Europe’s biggest lender set aside roughly $3 billion as an impairment charge for its almost one-fifth stake in Bank of Communications Co., with Chinese commercial real estate exposure also contributing to a $3.4 billion expected credit loss charge for the year. 

“We remain confident in the resilience of the Chinese economy, and the growth opportunities in mainland China over the medium to long term,” Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn said in the statement.    

HSBC reported fourth-quarter profit fell 80%, though full-year earnings hit a record. 

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