MasterCard profit beats estimate; stays bullish on China
By Sudarshan Varadhan and Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) - MasterCard Inc MA.N reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and said it would accelerate investments in China, even as concerns mount over slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy.
Shares of the world's No. 2 payments network rose as much as 5.6 percent and were set for their best day in five months.
The company's profit beat mirrored that of larger rival Visa Inc (V.N: Quote), which backed its full-year forecast on Thursday.
Visa's shares rose as much as 5.2 percent to $72.95.
MasterCard is working with China's two top state-held commercial banks to launch their mobile payment products in the country, Chief Executive Ajay Banga said on a conference call.
China's decision to open up its $7 trillion bank card market to foreign companies is expected to boost earnings at MasterCard and Visa.
MasterCard expects to see double-digit annual growth in credit card transaction volumes in the country, a senior executive told Reuters in November.
The company, which operates payments service MasterPass, also plans to increase its digital investments. Continued...