HSBC chair ‘confident’ on China investment, meets vice president – state media

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s Vice President Han Zheng on Monday met with HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker in Beijing and urged the banking giant to deepen cooperation with China to improve Hong Kong’s status as a financial centre, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

“We hope HSBC can use its own advantage and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China and make contributions in solidifying and improving Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre,” Han said.

Hong Kong, the Asia-focused bank’s headquarters in the region, saw its stock market hammered, with the benchmark index falling to its lowest level in 14 months on Monday amid a downbeat outlook for the Chinese economy and the absence of government stimulus.

Tucker said HSBC is “strongly confident in its investment in China” and will actively support Hong Kong to be an international financial hub, and Britain-China cooperations, according to Xinhua.

The bank, which in recent years accelerated divestment from less profitable business outside of Asia, continues investing in China to beef up onshore operations in wealth and insurance businesses, while increasingly concerned foreign institutions and investors held off or even retreated from the local market.

Tucker said HSBC will actively participate in China’s high quality growth, according to the report.

The bank was among six foreign lenders last week which scored new licences allowing them take lead underwriter roles in renminbi-denominated debt issuance.

(Reporting by Albee Zhang and Liz Lee in Beijing, Selena Li in Hong Kong; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)