HSBC Holdings reported its profit in the mainland increased 74 percent in the first half, driven mainly by growth in its part-owned Bank of Communications and Ping An Group, The Standard reported. The group only reported a 6 percent increase in profits to 52 million US dollars from its own mainland branches in the period, despite expanding its branch network to 30 from 20. At present, HSBC derives more than 81 percent of its mainland earnings from its investments in Bank of Communications and Ping An Group, as well as Fujian-based Industrial Bank and the Bank of Shanghai. HSBC owns nearly 19.9 percent in both Bank of Communications, the mainland's fifth-largest commercial lender, and Ping An Group, the country's second-largest insurer. HSBC chairman Stephen Green said the group plans to increase the number of self-operated branches on the mainland to 34 by year-end, when restrictions against personal and commercial lending by foreign banks are lifted. Green said HSBC also plans to expand its mainland presence in tandem with Bank of Communications, quoted the paper.

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