HSBC has ended talks to pay $8bn (£5bn) for a majority stake in South African lender Nedbank from Old Mutual.
HSBC had been in exclusive talks with Anglo-South African insurer Old Mutual to buy up to 70 per cent of South Africa's fourth-largest bank, and an eight-week period of exclusivity was due to end on Monday.
Old Mutual said: "The reasons for HSBC's withdrawal were not disclosed to Old Mutual, but were not, as far as Old Mutual is aware, related to any adverse findings during HSBC's due diligence."
The move leaves HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, without a convincing Africa strategy and could hand rival Standard Chartered a chance of buying Nedbank, analysts said.
City A.M. Reporter