HSBC expands into Korean banking sector

| September 5, 2007 | 0 Comments

HSBC has finally been successful in its aim to move into the Asian Markets. HSBC is to pay Lone Star, the investment group, $6.3 billion for its majority share in Korea Exchange Bank (KEB), Korea’s sixth largest bank. The acquisition is subject to a number of terms and conditions, including government and regulatory agreements that must be approved by April of 2008.

Lone Star owns 51% of KEB but a long-standing disagreement about the ownership of KEB could hold-up the transaction for at least 12 months.

There is also speculation that HSBC is to open its first retail banking branch in January 2008 in the affluent Hiroo district of Tokyo. HSBC is rumoured to be interested in targeting wealthy customers in the city who may wish to invest overseas. Furthermore, a Hiroo branch of HSBC would be followed by branch openings of at least 5 more locations in Tokyo.

A branch opening early next year would coincide with the retirement year for Japan’s so called baby-boomer generation - the largest generation in the country and a group that is interested in private banking services.

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