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HSBC places 12 countries on exit watchlist to focus on expansion in Asia

HSBC's ongoing pivot to Asia has already triggered planned sales of all or parts of its businesses in France, Greece, Russia, and Canada

HSBC

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Reuters

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HSBC is reviewing a possible exit from as many as 1 in 5 of the countries it operates in to sharpen its focus on Asian expansion, Chief Financial Officer Georges Elhedery told Reuters.
 
These reviews, which could see the British bank deciding to sell or streamline businesses in 12 countries, follow pressure from Chinese shareholder Ping An Insurance, which wants HSBC to prioritise growth in its money-spinning Asian business which generates 78 per cent of group profit.
 
“Some of these will have slower progress than others, and none of them is material enough on its own to change the profile of the overall business, but as we progress through and execute on these assessments, we do expect them to contribute towards that shift to Asia,” Elhedery said, declining to disclose which markets were under review or the time frame for the processes.
 
HSBC’s ongoing pivot to Asia has already triggered planned sales of all or parts of its businesses in France, Greece, Russia, and Canada.
 
While the markets under review may be relatively small, the move is significant in showing the pressure HSBC faces to shrink its once globe-spanning local banking businesses in order to lift returns and appease its investors.
 
HSBC does not break out the results of every individual country in which it operates in its overall results, making identifying underperforming markets challenging. But its businesses in Europe and Latin America may be under the microscope. reuters

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First Published: May 24 2023 | 11:51 PM IST

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