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HONG KONG/LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings PLC posted on Friday a 31 percent rise in first-quarter profit, beating estimates, bolstered by a surge in income in its core Asian business and as the London-headquartered bank managed to rein in costs.
Profit before tax at Europe's biggest lender by assets rose to $6.21 billion in the January-March quarter from $4.76 billion in the same quarter last year, it said in a stock exchange filing.
The latest quarter's profit was above the $5.58 billion average of analysts' estimates compiled by the bank.
HSBC warned in February that it may have to delay some investments this year as it missed 2018 profit forecasts due to slowing growth in its two home markets of China and Britain.
Chief Executive John Flint said in June HSBC would invest $15 billion-$17 billion over three years in areas including technology and China, while keeping profitability and dividend targets unchanged. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Lawrence White; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)