Two new South American units were profitable. HSBC Roberts in Argentina had attributable profits of GBP8 million, while Brazil's Banco HSBC Bamerindus and Midland Bank Servicos contributed GBP32 million. HSBC Bamerindus has attracted nearly 1.5 million new accounts and a growth in deposits of more than 50 per cent since its creation. 'I think that shareholders should be glad that we have diversified our business over recent years. We've got a pretty balanced business now and one hopes that all markets are not down at the same time. But having said that Asia remains the most important area as far as our group is concerned,' HSBC chairman Sir William Purves said. The group's increased investment in South America helped Midland Bank dispose of most of its Argentinian and Brazilian Brady Bonds, leading to debt recoveries of GBP59 million.