Bloomberg News

Hang Seng Bank to Boost China Branches by Half Within 3 Years

February 28, 2012

Hang Seng Bank Ltd. (11), the Hong Kong lender majority owned by HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), aims to expand its branch network in China by half to tap rising wealth in the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

The second largest Hong Kong-based lender plans to add 20 outlets by the end of 2014 to the 39 outlets it now operates in the country, Margaret Leung, chief executive officer of Hang Seng Bank, told reporters today.

Hang Seng Bank, which generated 22 percent of its pretax profit from China last year, plans to lure more affluent mainland clients to boost sales of wealth management products. The number of millionaires in China grew by 12 percent to 534,500 in 2010, ranking the country fourth by number of millionaires, trailing the U.S., Japan and Germany, according to a report by Capgemini SA and Bank of America Corp.

Shares of Hang Seng Bank, which reported 2011 earnings yesterday, rose 2.6 percent to a five-month high of HK$104.10 at 1:38 p.m. in Hong Kong, outperforming the 0.8 percent gain in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index. (HSI)

Net income jumped 12 percent last year to HK$16.7 billion ($2.15 billion) as higher lending income offset a slowdown in the city’s demand for borrowing during the second half. That beat the HK$16 billion average estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Leung, who has been with HSBC Group for 34 years, will retire in May and be replaced by Rose Lee, the bank said yesterday in a statement. Lee, who joined HSBC in 1977, currently holds the title of adviser for China and Hong Kong at HSBC, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Tong in Hong Kong at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at

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