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HSBC Intends to Acquire Remaining Stake of German Division

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HSBC Holdings (HSBC - Free Report) plans to acquire the remaining 18.66% stake in HSBC Trinkaus& Burkhardt AG, its German unit, from Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg. The purchase price has not been disclosed yet.

Following the completion of this deal (expected to be soon), HSBC will hold 99.33% of the registered capital in the unit.The German unit had total assets worth 26.6 billion euros ($29 billion) as of Dec 31, 2019. In addition,it employed more than 3,000 people as on the same date.

This is part of the company’s restructuring efforts to improve operational efficiency. Notably, this February, HSBC had plans to shed 35,000 people from its workforce amid dismal revenue growth, specifically in Continental Europe. Nonetheless, this restructuring plan has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company is increasing focus on Asia, with the major chunk of its revenues and profit coming in from the continent. In sync with this, earlier this month, it announced a deal to buy the remaining 50% stake in its China life insurance joint venture (JV) — HSBC Life Insurance Company Limited — from The National Trust Limited. Similarly, several other global banks, including Morgan Stanley (MS - Free Report) , Goldman Sachs (GS - Free Report) and JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) , are expanding operations in China.

The global economic slowdown, a low interest-rate environment, and the Brexit-related uncertainties will likely keep dampening HSBC’s financials. Further, expenses might flare up in the near term on the bank’s growth initiatives in China and digital-capability boosting efforts. Also, the bank has temporarily suspended dividends and share buybacks given the current economic crisis.

Shares of HSBC have lost 38.2% so far this year compared with the 35.4% decline recorded by the industry.

Currently, HSBC carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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