HSBC investors are ramping up calls for the banking giant to break up as they side with Chinese insurance company Ping An.
Pressure on the bank to shave off its Asian business into a separate company increased after a meeting with HSBC executives and Hong Kong investors yesterday, as small shareholders backed the proposal by Ping An, HSBC’s biggest investor, The Times reported.
HSBC has rejected Ping Ann’s proposal. HSBC’s Hong Kong shareholders have been frustrated by cuts to dividends recently and are reportedly dissatisfied with management.
The meeting in Hong Kong was the first between HSBC’s execs and its retail investors in three years and came a day after it announced better than anticipated results for 2022’s first half.
HSBC had tried to pacify Ping An and its retail investors by telling them it would return dividends to pre-covid levels soon, which did not succeed.
Ping An said: “We note the demands expressed by a number of HSBC’s small and medium-sized shareholders. We support any proposal that is conducive to improving HSBC’s operating performance and enhances shareholder value.”
HSBC has hit back at calls for it to break up. CEO Noel Quinn said, “strength as a well connected, global institution is the main reason our wholesale clients choose to bank with us”.
“We are determined to capitalise on the advantages our network gives us.”