HSBC mulls £6bn sale to Canada under pressure from Chinese investor to break up bank
HSBC could sell its Canadian operations under pressure from a Chinese investor to break up the bank.
The London-based lender said it was “reviewing our strategic options” for its Canadian arm, which analysts said could bring in £6bn.
HSBC has hired investment bankers from JP Morgan to search for buyers, according to Sky News.
To break up? HSBC said it was ‘considering our strategic options’ for its Canadian arm, which analysts said could bring in £6bn
The move comes as Chinese insurer Ping An, which now owns around 8% of HSBC, campaigns to split the bank’s eastern and western operations.
Although HSBC’s main stock exchange listing is in London with its head office, it makes most of its money in Asia.
Ping An says HSBC’s business in the West is holding back the performance of the most profitable divisions in regions such as Hong Kong and China.
Calls to break up the state-backed insurer have led to speculation that the Chinese government wants to increase its influence over HSBC’s growing Asian business.
Analysts have speculated that a sale of HSBC Canada – the country’s seventh largest bank – could be worth around £6billion.
A spokesman for the lender said: “HSBC regularly reviews its business in all of its markets.
“We are currently reviewing our strategic options regarding our wholly-owned subsidiary in Canada.”
Michael Sheridan, a former journalist and author of The Gate To China, said the Chinese government was desperate to get their hands on “Hong Kong’s diamond bank”, and that Ping An’s campaign was “the result of a high-level political decree”. in China’.