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People's Daily Online>>China Business

HSBC disposes insurance under divestment plan

(Shanghai Daily)

09:56, March 08, 2012

HSBC has agreed to sell its general insurance businesses to French insurer AXA Group and Australia's QBE Insurance Group for US$914 million in cash, as Europe's biggest bank moves ahead with its plan to divest non-core assets.

HSBC's decision to exit the business could be a precursor to similar deals as lenders globally consider selling capital- intensive businesses as reserve requirements become more strict.

"We expect rising capitalization requirements across the banking and insurance sectors to continue to drive portfolio re-balancing, with some banks in particular reflecting on the value of manufacturing and/ or distributing non-life insurance going forward," said Ron Kozlowski, director of Towers Watson's general insurance consulting business in Asia- Pacific.

The deal, the latest in a series of cost-cutting initiatives under new HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver, includes 10-year bancassurance agreements with AXA and QBE.

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