Business report

HSBC plans $448 million investment in Chinese companies: report

HONG KONG: HSBC Holdings plans to invest more than 3 billion yuan ($448 million) in its China operations, chief executive Noel Quinn told the official Xinhua news agency, saying he saw challenges for the economy but also investment opportunities.

The investment roadmap comes just a month after HSBC’s biggest investor, Chinese insurance company Ping An, called on the bank to seek ways to boost returns, which included a proposed split. of its operations in Asia, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

London-headquartered HSBC, Europe’s largest lender by total assets, earned just over half of its revenue and around two-thirds of its reported 2021 pre-tax profit from Asia.

In the rare interview with Xinhua, Quinn said the Chinese investment would be made over a five-year period running until 2025 without specifying which divisions would receive the money.

A spokesperson for HSBC confirmed the interview with Xinhua.

HSBC is one of the largest investors among foreign banks in mainland China and employs around 7,000 people in the country. It has a branch network of more than 150 outlets in 50 cities.

While noting that COVID-19 cases in Shanghai had started to decline after a two-month lockdown, Quinn said the challenges facing the Chinese economy should not be “underestimated”.

The Chinese mall on Wednesday lifted the lockdown for its population of 25 million, allowing some businesses such as banks to start phased operations.

“We expect some market volatility to continue in the near term,” Quinn said.

“But we also see in China an economy that has demonstrated its resilience and still presents long-term growth potential and attractive opportunities for foreign businesses and investors,” he said.

Quinn, who has led HSBC for more than two years, has doubled down on Asia by moving global executives there and pumping billions into the lucrative wealth management industry, with a focus on the region .