U.S. private equity fund Lone Star confirmed on Tuesday it is in exclusive negotiations with HSBC to sell its 51% stake in Korea Exchange Bank, with a market value of $4.8 billion.
HSBC Holdings said on Monday it was in talks to buy a majority stake in Korea Exchange Bank, valued at $4.5 billion and held by Lone Star, sending shares of Korea's fifth-largest lender higher.
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HSBC Holdings, Europe's biggest bank, posted higher first-half profit and struck an upbeat tone on the global economy on Monday, despite a big rise in bad debts linked to its problems in the U.S. housing market.
European stocks are likely to climb an additional 5% to 10% this year from current levels, boosted by double-digit profit growth, an executive with the fund arm of HSBC Holdings said on Monday.
Shares in Korea Exchange Bank soared as much as 8% on Wednesday, buoyed by a report that HSBC Holdings has contacted U.S. private equity fund Lone Star about buying the Korean lender.
HSBC Holdings has contacted Lone Star about buying Korea Exchange Bank from the U.S. private equity fund, the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph reported on Tuesday.
Ford Motor said on Tuesday it was working with financial advisers on the best options for its European luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Australia's third-biggest bank, said it has appointed Michael Smith, head of HSBC Holding's Asian business, as its new chief executive.
HSBC Holdings, which has struggled to build its investment banking franchise, said on Wednesday that its head of global capital markets, Danny Palmer, was leaving after less than three years with the firm.
HSBC, Europe's largest bank, said on Friday it had made a good start to 2007, helped by a strong performance in Asia, but declined to comment on market rumours that it could be interested in takeover target ABN Amro.
Stocks closed higher and the Dow ended at another record high, buoyed by sharp gains in financial and telecom stocks. "With strong earnings and reasonable valuations, you should expect stocks to go higher," said Ed Keon, chief investment strategist at Prudential. "I think the market represents good value."
The Shanghai stock exchange is in talks with HSBC and other high-profile foreign firms to list their shares in mainland China, as part of its strategy to revive the recently moribund bourse, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Citigroup, HSBC and two other foreign banks on Monday officially began offering local currency retail banking services to customers in mainland China, aiming to woo potential clients with better services than local lenders usually provide.
Investors celebrated Tax Day with a broad-based rally and the S&P 500 closed at its highest level in nearly seven years, boosted by Citigroup's strong earnings report and a surge in M&A activity. "Expectations for this quarter are quite low and so far everything has beat, which has given the market a boost," said Barry Hyman, market strategist at EKN Financial.
A Saudi Arabian investor has bought a 3.3 billion pound ($6.6 billion) stake in Europe's biggest bank HSBC Holdings in the past two months, and sees the stake as a long-term investment, his spokesman said.
HSBC Holdings plans to nearly double its number of outlets in China this year as it develops its yuan retail banking business.
HSBC Holdings is set to launch retail banking operations in Japan early next year and plans to open as many as 50 branches within four years, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
"A Fund Affair" is a brand new column that focuses on mutual funds available in Asia. Each week, we will highlight one fund we think is interesting -- whether because it's invested in a hot market, has a niche appeal or simply has been in the news of late.Our inaugural column features the Aberdeen Asset Management's India Opportunities Fund. Why this fund? A hot topic of debate of late has been the outsourcing of business processes to India. India's benefited from these many contracts. So we decided to explore what India and its economy has to offer the investor and how well Indian companies have performed of late.
Facing an increasingly competitive market, online banks are launching checking accounts with attractive rates.