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HSBC Says It Has No Plans to Exit Any Markets in Asia Division

HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest bank, said it has no plans to leave any countries in Asia, following a report it may sell or close some consumer units in the region.

“We’re not planning to exit any markets in Asia at the moment,” Brendan McNamara, a spokesman, said by telephone today. The bank may leave seven markets where it has fewer than 20 branches; Bangladesh, Brunei, Macau, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, the Financial Times reported today, citing an interview with Peter Wong, the bank’s head of Asia.

HSBC Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver said in August he will eliminate 30,000 positions by the end of 2013 to save as much as $3.5 billion, withdrawing from some markets, while hiring people in Asia. The U.K. lender is scaling back in parts of Asia, including Japan and Thailand, as it prepares for tighter capital rules.

HSBC agreed in January to sell operations in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras to Colombia’s Banco Davivienda SA for $801 million to focus on bigger markets in Latin America.

-- Editors: Jon Menon, Steve Bailey

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