HSBC expands in Asian markets
by Gill Montia
Story link: HSBC expands in Asian markets
HSBC has been successful in its long awaited aim to move into the Korean banking sector.
The bank has agreed to pay Lone Star, the investment group, approximately $6.3 billion for its majority share in Korea Exchange Bank (KEB).
The acquisition is subject to a number of conditions, including government and regulatory approvals that must be met by April of 2008.
Lone Star owns 51% of KEB, which is Korea’s sixth largest bank. However, there has been a long running dispute over the ownership of KEB and legal proceedings could delay the transaction for up to a year.
HSBC is also in the news because of rumours that it will open its first retail banking branch in the wealthy Hiroo district of Tokyo, in January of next year.
The bank is reported to be particularly interested in targeting wealthy customers in the city who may be interested in investing overseas.
A branch opening in January would coincide with the retirement year for Japan’s so called baby-boomer generation, which is the largest generation in the country, and a group that has apparently been developing a taste for private banking services.
According to press reports, a Hiroo branch of HSBC would be followed by branch openings at least five more sites in Tokyo.