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HSBC Shanghai plan to boost expansion

HSBC is poised to become one of the first foreign companies to list on the Shanghai stock exchange, returning to its Asian roots.

The bank wants to raise its profile in China as it opens more branches and considers taking stakes in Chinese lenders.

It first announced in May last year that it wanted to be one of the first international companies to be quoted in Shanghai.

An HSBC spokesman said yesterday: “HSBC’s birthplace in 1865 was in Hong Kong and Shanghai and it is entirely natural that as the leading international bank in China we wish to be among the first foreign companies to list in Shanghai.

The Chinese authorities will determine how and when this will be possible, and we will work hard to meet all the requirements and obtain the necessary approvals.”

The Canary Wharf-based bank said any speculation on the amount that might be raised is premature given that listing rules have not been published yet.

Underlining its emerging markets strategy, HSBC’s chief executive Michael Geoghegan is to relocate from London to Hong Kong in February, along with the bank’s head of strategy. HSBC is already quoted in Hong Kong.

It was founded as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in 1865, but moved its headquarters to London in 1993 after buying Midland Bank.

The group is shifting its focus east after running up massive subprime losses in the United States. It is close to buying Royal Bank of Scotland’s retail and commercial assets in China, Malaysia and India.