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HSBC to hold onto Bocom stake, plans China expansion
click rate:2513 issue time:2007-03-10 08:12

Mar. 8, 2007 (China Knowledge) – HSBC Holdings <5>, the largest bank in Europe, is seeking to hold onto its 19.9% stake in state-owned bank Bank of Communications after the Chinese lender goes for its A-share listing as early as this month.

HSBC Chief Executive Michael Geoghegan revealed this at a press briefing in Hong Kong. "I think the government is looking at that and is aware that HSBC and BoCom want to build up a partnership at the shareholding ratio they're having today," he said.

Media reports in January say Hong Kong-listed Bank of Communications plans to list in the Mainland bourse by offering of as many as 4.5 billion RMB-denominated A-shares as early as March to raise about RMB 20 billion.

HSBC is also planning to expand further in the Chinese mainland. Vincent Cheng, chairman of HSBC, was quoted in a Reuters report Monday as saying that HSBC wants to open at least 20 branches and hire at least 1,000 people in China this year after incorporating locally. Compared to China’s biggest bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China <1398 > <601398>, which has 18,000 branches in China, HSBC has only 51 outlets, including the network of its 62%-owned Hang Seng Bank <11>.