Bloomberg News

HSBC Sells Thai Retail Unit to Bank of Ayudhya for $115 Million

January 26, 2012

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest bank, sold its consumer unit in Thailand to Bank of Ayudhya Pcl for about $115 million, its second deal in as many days as it offloads smaller operations to focus on larger markets.

Yesterday, the lender agreed to sell its operations in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras to Colombia’s Banco Davivienda SA for $801 million to focus on bigger markets in Latin America like Brazil and Mexico.

Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver is reversing some of HSBC’s expansion over the past two decades, selling assets and cutting jobs, while reinvesting some of the proceeds in faster-growing markets. The Thai unit included consumer banking and wealth management and had assets of about $553 million, the bank said in a statement today. Ayudhya said it would pay about $115 million in a separate statement.

The sale “represents further progress in the execution of HSBC’s strategy outlined at the investor day in May,” the lender said in the statement.

HSBC, which gains most of its profit in Asia, in December sold its Japanese private-banking business to Credit Suisse Group AG and in July sold almost half its U.S. branches to First Niagara Financial Group Inc. for about $1 billion. It has also sold part of its Russian consumer banking unit.

The lender is seeking buyers for its Japanese consumer banking unit four years after starting the business, according to three people familiar with the matter. HSBC may sell HSBC Premier, the division that targets wealthy individuals in Japan, the people said on condition of anonymity because the plan isn’t public.

-- Editors: Francis Harris, Jon Menon

To contact the reporter on this story: Howard Mustoe in London at hmustoe@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net


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