UK financial group HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) on Thursday said it had agreed to dispose of its general insurance operations in Macau to QBE Insurance (International) Limited.
HSBC will carry out the divestment via its indirectly-held unit HSBC Insurance (Asia) Limited, it explained.
The value of the transaction was not disclosed, but the vendor said the Macau general insurance business had gross assets of HKD6.97m (USD898,000/EUR687,000) at 31 December 2012.
Subject to regulatory clearance, the sale is expected to wrap up in the first half of this year, the vendor said.
HSBC Holdings’unit Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited has also inked a non-exclusive accord with QBE to distribute its general insurance products to the bank’s customers in Macau for a commission.
Stock markets in Asia and Australia recovered slightly on Monday as G8 members, meeting over the weekend, said they would do everything in their power to avoid another full blown financial crisis
The Nikkei 225 index in Japan gained 0.4%, after dropping sharply on Friday as a result of worries of Greece and the effect a prolonged European debt crisis could have on the global economy. Australian shares rose by 0.7% after hitting a six month low last week.
“The fate of Greece won’t become clear until the election, and markets will be swung around by comments from European leaders in the meantime, all of which makes it extremely difficult for investors to take any positions,” said Hirokazu Yuihama, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo, told Reuters.
“Today’s move is merely a rebound from sharp losses on Friday and it doesn’t have momentum to rise strongly. The G8 outcome lacked the punch to give much incentive for markets.”
US president Barack Obama said that he had faith in Europe’s ability to tackle the sovereign debt crises, but added that Europe must now focus on jobs and growth, echoing the words of newly elected French president Francois Hollande.
Following the comments made at the G8 summit, the EU issued a statement saying that the focus needs to remain equally on austerity and growth.