Has A Truly Global Bank Emerged?

Given the disappointments of other multinational lenders, can a global bank work? Executives at Hongkong & Shanghai Banking and Britain's Midland Bank hope so. After more than four years of courtship, the two banks at last have agreed to merge. Details haven't been announced, but analysts believe Hongkong Bank will exchange at least $4.7 billion in shares to buy Midland. The combined group would have $250 billion in assets, strength in Asia and Britain, and a sizable presence in North America, where Hongkong & Shanghai owns Marine Midland Banks.

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