HSBC bank sells Canadian ops for over US$10 billion

HSBC has agreed to sell its Canadian division to Royal Bank of Canada for US$10.1 billion, the Asia-focused banking giant announced Tuesday.

The large sale comes after UK-listed HSBC faced calls from biggest shareholder Ping An Insurance Group to cut costs and shift more resources to Asia.

HSBC added in a statement that it would use the funds to invest in its core business and return cash to investors.

“We decided to sell following a thorough review of the business… and concluded that there was a material value upside from selling,” said chief executive Noel Quinn.

The divestment is expected to be completed in late 2023.

“HSBC Canada offers the opportunity to add a complementary business and client base in the market we know best and where we can deliver strong returns and client value,” RBC president and CEO Dave McKay said in a separate statement.

“This also positions us as the bank of choice for commercial clients with international needs, newcomers to Canada and affluent clients who need global banking and wealth management capabilities.”

China’s Ping An has urged HSBC to spin off its Asian operations in a bid to unlock shareholder value amid tensions between Beijing and the West.

Shares rose 4.4 percent to 510.10 pence in late afternoon deals on London’s rising stock market.

“HSBC’s policy for some time has been to pivot toward Asia and the sale of the Canadian business is the latest step in that mix shift,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

“Pressure from Ping An could be accelerating the changes, especially if HSBC’s board remains keen to avoid a full break-up.”

Agence France-Presse

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