HSBC agrees to sell Macau-based general insurance operation to QBE

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.

HSBC sells Singapore insurance unit to AXA Life

UK financial major HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA) said Wednesday that fully-controlled unit HSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd had inked an accord to sell its group term life insurance and group medical insurance portfolios in Singapore to AXA Life Insurance Singapore Private Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

The deal, which has yet to be cleared by regulators, is seen to be wrapped up by the end of the year.

The sale of the portfolios, whose gross asset value amounted to SGD23.5m (USD19m/EUR14.8m) as at 31 December 2012, is a step ahead in the implementation of the group’s strategy, HSBC said.

AXA Life Insurance Singapore is part of French insurance and asset management group AXA SA (EPA:CS).

UK banking major HSBC sells Candian consumer finance opeations

UK banking group HSBC Holdings plc’s (LON:HSBA) indirect Canadian unit HSBC Retail Services Limited said it would sell its consumer private label credit card portfolio to TD Financing Services Inc, a subsidiary of Toronto-Dominion Bank (TSE:TD).

The vendor did not disclose the price it had agreed for the portfolio, but said its gross value was around CAD495m (USD485m/EUR374m) at 28 February.

The disposal is part of a strategy by HSBC Retail’s direct parent HSBC Financial Corporation Limited to wind down its consumer finance operations. It also fits with HSBC’s plans to focus its business in Canada on core commercial banking, global banking and markets and retail banking and wealth management, the vendor explained.

Pending regulatory clearance, the transaction is seen wrapping up in the third quarter of this year.

UK banking giant HSBC to offload homeowner loan portfolio in $3.2bn deal

UK financial services major HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) announced that an indirect wholly-owned unit will sell its personal unsecured loan and personal homeowner loan portfolios to a subsidiary of US-based Springleaf Finance Inc and Newcastle Investment Corp (NYSE:NCT) for USD3.2bn (EUR2.5bn) in cash.

HSBC Finance Corp (HFC) will offload gross assets with a carrying value of USD3.4bn as at 31 December 2012 to SpringCastle Acquisition LLC. The amount includes the value of HFC’s loan servicing facility and related assets in London, Kentucky, which will be sold to Springleaf as part of a separate deal.

The sale of the portfolios is expected to close in the second quarter of the year, while the disposal of the building and assets is scheduled for the fourth quarter. The two deals are part of HSBC’s strategy to reposition its US activities and concentrate on its core operations, HFC’s CEO Patrick Burke stated.

HSBC increases stake in Irish oil and gas explorer Providence

UK financial services major HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) has increased its interest in Irish oil and gas exploration and appraisal firm Providence Resources Plc (LON:PVR) to 6.65% as of 15 February, the latter announced today.

Late last month, Providence Resources reported that HSBC’s holding amounted to 5.12%. Its current stake, comprising 4.29 million units, is worth GBP26.7m (USD40.7m/EUR30.9m) based on a share price of GBP6.215 earlier today.

The oil and gas firm’s other shareholders as of 22 February are the current CEO Anthony O’Reilly with a 15.45% stake, BlackRock Investment Management (UK) Limited with 10.8%, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) with 5.94%, Henderson Global Investment Limited with 3.88% and F&C Asset Management Plc (LON:FCAM) with 3.87%, according to its website.

HSBC sells Panama operations to Bancolombia in $2.1bn deal

UK financial giant HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA) said Tuesday it had agreed to sell HSBC Bank (Panama) SA to Colombian lender Bancolombia SA (NYSE:CIB) for USD2.1bn (EUR1.6bn) in cash.

The offload, which will be carried out through HSBC Holdings’ fully-controlled unit HSBC Latin America Holdings (UK) Ltd, has yet to receive regulatory green light and is seen to close in the third quarter of this year.

The price is based on an estimated net asset value at completion of USD700m, the vendor said.

The disposal reflects HSBC’s group strategy for the region to zero in on the core markets of Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, HSBC Latin America’s CEO Antonio Losada said.

Local insurance groups mull bids for HSBC’s Indian life insurance venture

Indian life insurers HDFC Life, Birla Sun Life and ICICI Prudential Insurance Co are considering a potential deal for the local life insurance joint venture of UK’s HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA), two sources told the Economic Times.

HSBC, which owns the Canara HSBC OBC Life insurance JV together with local Oriental Bank of Commerce (BOM:500315) and Canara Bank (BOM:532483), has contacted the insurers through its advisors, the report said.

The UK group’s partners in the venture could also agree to exit the JV depending on the price, although they have not made a decision yet, the sources explained to the paper.

An official at Birla Sun Life and a senior executive at ICICI Prudential confirmed interest in Canara HSBC OBC Life, when asked by the Economic Times, while a spokesperson for HDFC Life did not wish to comment.

The JV, ranking 19th in terms of new business income among 24 Indian life insurers, holds a market share of 0.56%, the paper said. It has a paid-up capital of INR9.5bn (USD176m/EUR132m), with HSBC said to be expecting to get at least the return of its capital.

The UK group, holding 26% in the venture, is exiting its insurance operations globally.

HSBC sells sells its stake in Greek mutual fund manager HSBC Hellas

UK-based HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA) said its unit HSBC Bank plc had agreed to offload its 73% interest in Greek mutual fund manager HSBC (HELLAS) Mutual Funds Management SA (HSBC AEDAK) to minority shareholderholder in the target, John Vezanis, for an undisclosed sum.

Upon completion, which is contingent on regulatory green light and is seen to occur in the first quarter of this year, Vezanis, currently the general manager of HSBC AEDAK, will leave the HSBC Group, HSBC Holdings said.

HSBC AEDAK, which will assume a new name on closing, is manager of eight local mutual funds. It also engages in the provision of advisory and discretionary portfolio management services to clients and distribution of HSBC Group funds.

The business will continue to distribute HSBC Global Investment Funds, the vendor noted.

Sumitomo Life close to acquiring 18% stake in Vietnamese Bao Viet from HSBC

Japanese insurer Sumitomo Life Insurance Company is nearing an agreement to buy  an 18% stake in Vietnamese financial services group  BaoViet Holdings from British banking giant HSBC (LON:HSBA), Reuters reported citing a knowledgeable source.

According to the person, Sumitomo Life is to pay the UK-based lender some JPY30bn (USD357m/EUR270m) for the interest. The parties are likely to shake on the deal before the week is over, the source added.

Reuters went on to say that Sumitomo Life was doing what many domestic rivals had undertaken, which is to look for opportunities to sustain growth through investment abroad. Such moves are designed to counter the impact of an aging population and a weak economy at home.

The news agency was unable to extract comments from a Sumitomo Life spokesman.

HSBC sells stake in Asian JV with Global Payments for $242m

US payment processing services provider Global Payments Inc (NYSE:GPN) has executed an agreement that will give it full ownership of the Asian-Pacific joint venture established in partnership with The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC).

HSBC, a subsidiary of UK-based banking giant HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA), will receive USD242m (EUR187m) for its 44% stake in Global Payments Asia Pacific Limited.

The two companies teamed up in 2006, creating a joint business to provide regional merchants with payment processing services. Global Payments will remain a preferred strategic partner to HSBC in the Asia-Pacific as the companies continue to cooperate across 11 markets in the area of card acquiring services.

Global Payments expects the acquisition to have a favourable impact on its 2013 financial results and its guidance for the year reflects the anticipated effect, the group said.