HSBC to sell Mauritius retail banking arm?

26 March 2012

HSBC could be about to offload its Mauritius retail banking and wealth management division after revealing it is in talks over a possible sale.

The largest bank in Europe is hoping to relieve itself of non-core assets in a bid to improve investor returns, but claimed its commitment to the market in the island nation - where it will continue with its commercial banking arm - has not waivered.

It is hoped the move will play a part in the lender being able to reduce its annual expenditure by around $3.5 billion, with overall profitability bolstered and Asian markets receiving a greater focus.

As such, the financial institute - which began life in Hong Kong in 1865 - has already sold its general insurance operations to AXA and the QBE Insurance Group for $914 million, as well as handing over its banking businesses in Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica for $800 million.

By Gary Cooper

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