HSBC Q1 pretax profit falls 19 pct; beats estimates

* Q1 profit before tax at $5 bln versus $6.1 bln a year ago

* Says completed $1 bln share buy back in April

* CEO says will continue to remove low-return risk-weighted


(Adds details, CEO comments, background)

HONG KONG, May 4 (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings Plc on

Thursday reported a 19 percent fall in first quarter profit, as

Europe's biggest bank battles to restore flagging revenues

following its restructuring.

HSBC said pretax profit for the first three months of the

year fell to $5 billion, down from $6.1 billion a year ago and

better than the $4.3 billion average of analysts' estimates

compiled by the bank.

The profit decline was due to a change in the accounting

treatment of the fair value on its debt and as year-ago earnings

included the operating results of the Brazil business that it

sold in July, it said.

Revenue in the quarter dropped 13 percent to $13 billion.

The bank said it completed its $1 billion share buy back in

April, after which its common equity tier 1 ratio - a measure of

its financial strength - was 14.3 percent.

Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said in a statement the bank

had now exceeded the risk-weighted asset reduction target that

it set in 2015 and would continue to remove low-return

risk-weighted assets.

Shareholders at the bank's annual general meeting last week

overwhelmingly voted in favour of reelecting Chief Executive

Stuart Gulliver to the lender's board, in an affirmation of his

strategy in recent years to shrink and refocus the bank.

Gulliver and outgoing Chairman Douglas Flint have sought to

unwind much of the empire-building of their predecessors since

their appointments in 2010 - a response to a tough environment

of low interest rates and increased regulation.

HSBC reported in February a much worse than expected set of

full year results for 2016, marred by hefty writedowns and costs

from its restructuring efforts.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Lawrence White; Editing by

Edwina Gibbs)