HSBC Said to Restructure Turkish Business After Scrapping Sale

  • British lender likely to announce plans with Feb. 22 earnings
  • HSBC said to have held talks to sell to ING, Turkish lenders

HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest bank, has scrapped the planned sale of its unprofitable Turkish unit after struggling to find a buyer and will instead restructure the business, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The London-based lender is likely to make the announcement when it reports annual results on Feb. 22, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. A representative for HSBC declined to comment.

ING Groep NV, the Netherlands’ largest lender, abandoned a plan to acquire the Turkish business, partially due to regulatory issues, people with knowledge of the matter said in December. Stalled talks with the Dutch lender had led HSBC to re-approach Turkish banks including Turkiye Garanti Bankasi and Yapi Kredi Bankasi to gauge their interest, people have said.

In June, Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver outlined a three-year plan to pare back HSBC’s vast global network by shutting money-losing businesses and eliminating as many as 25,000 jobs. The bank aims to cut as much as $5 billion in costs by the end of 2017.

HSBC agreed to sell its Brazilian unit to Banco Bradesco SA for $5.2 billion in cash last year as part of the plan. Gulliver said Monday he expects the sale of the Brazil unit to be completed by the end of the first half, with HSBC updating investors on disposal plans for its Turkey business next week.

HSBC may decide to refocus its Turkish operations on corporate banking, newspaper Hurriyet reported last month, citing sources.

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