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WHOLESALE BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Philippines
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HSBC denies exit plans from Bangladesh, Pakistan, NZ and Phiippines

HSBC dismissed a Financial Times report saying it plans to scale back or even exit certain Asian countries to concentrate on core areas.


"We are not exiting any markets in Asia," HSBC said following the puiblication of the FT story.

"Our strategy in the region is to have strong, balanced and diversified geographies and businesses," it added.

According to the Financial Times, HSBC was examining the potential sale or closure of seven retail businesses in countries such as Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan and the Philippines.

It followed a conversation between the business daily and Peter Wong, chief executive of HSBC in Asia, in which he said the bank had decided to focus on eight markets.

This comprised six core markets producing fast profits growth but excluding Hong Kong -- Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore -- and two strategic markets seen as important to future growth -- Taiwan and Vietnam.

HSBC noted in its statement: "The six priority and two strategic markets are where we prioritise our investment but that doesn't mean that we exclude other markets.

"We continue to invest and grow in Asia as evidenced by our strong financial performance in 2011," it added.

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