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HSBC’s Swiss Private Bank Sells Geneva Building for $116 Million

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Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc’s Swiss private bank sold the last office it owns in Geneva for 108 million francs ($116 million) after cutting jobs in the Alpine country.

The office on Quai du General Guisan is being acquired by Hong Kong’s Wyatt Estates II Ltd., according to the Geneva property register. The bank is relocating client-facing staff to a rented riverside office, which it is renovating for 70 million francs, HBSC’s Swiss unit said in an e-mailed statement today.

“Geneva is our stronghold in Switzerland,” Franco Morra, chief executive officer of HSBC’s Swiss unit, said in the statement.

HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, made a “slight reduction” in headcount in Switzerland to 1,700 employees last year, said David Bruegger, a Zurich-based spokesman for the firm. HSBC is renting offices in Switzerland amid a wider initiative to sell real estate assets, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Giles Broom in Geneva at gbroom@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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