HSBC Sells Korean Life Insurance Business Back to Hana Financial

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s largest bank, said it sold the stake it bought in 2007 in South Korea’s Hana HSBC Life Insurance Co. back to Hana Financial Group Inc. (086790)

A price for the holding of 50 percent less one share in Hana HSBC Life, originally bought for 53 billion won ($48 million), wasn’t disclosed. Hana HSBC Life had assets of 2.75 trillion won as of Dec. 31, HSBC said in a statement today.

Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver, 54, has closed or sold at least 48 businesses since he took the top job in 2011, sacrificing revenue and targeting 30,000 job losses to improve profitability. The company said last month it has cut $3.6 billion of costs so far, beating its $3.5 billion plan. The lender could achieve $1 billion in additional savings in 2013, Finance Director Iain Mackay told analysts last month.

“HSBC remains committed to the Korean market and continues to invest in developing its Korean global banking and markets business,” the lender said in the statement. HSBC has operated in South Korea since 1897.

-- Editors: Jon Menon, Steve Bailey

To contact the reporter on this story: Howard Mustoe in London at hmustoe@bloomberg.net.

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