Bocom is HSBC's Core China Play For Now: HSBC CEO

Global financial heavyweight HSBC Holdings is satisfied with its partnership with China's Bank of Communications, Group CEO Michael Geoghegan told CNBC Asia on Monday, saying the venture is the firm's core investment on the mainland for now.

Sharon Lorimer

Geoghegan was responding to media reports over the weekend, which suggested that the British lender was considering a bid for a major Chinese bank to reinforce its presence in the country.

"Frankly, I never talk about acquisitions that we have not done," said Geoghegan, adding that if HSBC was considering additional investments in China, the bank will have to first wait for China to relax the 20 percent cap on foreign investment.

"We are not talking to Beijing about an increase in our investment at the current time over the 20 percent. Because, as you know, if it is a regulatory top limit that you can have, it is not for the Chinese authorities to change for us if they so wish. If they would change, I think it would be for the whole banking industry. But we are not asking them to change at the current time."

Geoghegan, who relocated to Hong Kong last week from London, said the bank's planned Shanghai listing was still in the works, although he could not specify a timeline, as that would be dependant on Chinese authorities.

HSBC CEO: BoCom Remains Core China Investment

"They are working through their process and we are working through our process, and I suspect and I hope it could be some time this year. It is too difficult to say whether it's gonna happen in the first half or the second half, but at the end of the day, it is what the Chinese government wants to do."

With asked about concerns over China's curbs on banks lending in recent weeks to ease an overheating economy, as well as the sector's non-performing loans, Geoghegan said he is not concerned.

"I think they (Chinese authorities) are doing a good job at the current time. So I wont be concerned. Obviously there will be some non-performing loans, but after doing the calculations, the expansion is better than those non-performing loans that follow it, so I think they are in good shape."

-- Click on the video link above to view CNBC's full interview HSBC's Geoghegan, which includes his thoughts on Obama's banking reforms and the debt crisis in Greece.

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