Mumbai: HSBC Holdings Plc has said it will buy the investment management unit of India’s L&T Finance Holdings Ltd, the latest push to build up the Asian wealth and investment business that is at the forefront of the bank’s turnaround plans.
The London-headquartered lender said it had agreed terms to acquire L&T Investment Management, which had looked destined to be bought by Blackstone Inc. after the US fund management group was reported to be exploring a bid.
The purchase comes four months after HSBC agreed a deal to buy AXA Singapore for Rs 4,300 crore. HSBC has said it was looking to make three or four bolt-on acquisitions of around Rs 3,750 crore each.
“This transaction enhances the strength of our business in India and reinforces our status as one of Asia’s leading wealth managers,” HSBC Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn said in the statement. “This demonstrates our commitment to capturing the Asia wealth opportunity. We will continue to invest significantly to achieve that goal.”
LTIM had assets under management of Rs. 81,140 crore and over 24 lakh active accounts as of September, according to the statement. The proposed acquisition will be funded from existing resources.
India has become a key market for HSBC as it looks to expand its operations in Asia, which are already the mainstay of the banks revenues and profits. Overall, India is one of the bank’s largest markets and its made just over Rs 75,11 crore in the country in 2020, making it the lender’s third largest Asian profit center after Hong Kong and mainland China.
HSBC is in the midst of a strategic refresh that will see the bank pivot its business increasingly toward Asia, and in particular focus on managing a greater share of the region’s growing wealth.
Surendra Rosha, co-chief executive Asia Pacific at HSBC, said the acquisition would provide the bank with “deeper access” to the Indian market. “India’s rising income levels and higher life expectancy are driving an expanding yet under-penetrated sector,” he said in a statement.
HSBC’s various wealth and asset management businesses managed Rs 9,014,580 crore on behalf of its clients at the end of the first half of 2021. This was up more than Rs 1,502,200 crore year-on-year, reflecting growth in assets across all its units. –Bloomberg