HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) plans to add as many as 1,000 new employees in China this year, Reuters has reported. The majority of appointments are set to be in the Pearl River Delta, which the Asia-focused lender has identified as the heart of its growth strategy in the country.
HSBC’s share price has gained ground in today’s session, having added 0.46 percent to 650.20p as of 13:36 GMT, outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which has slipped marginally lower and is currently 0.09 percent worse off at 7,334.44 points. The group’s shares have soared more than 48 percent over the past year, but have given up one percent in the year-to-date.
Reuters reported today that HSBC was planning to add as many as 1,000 new employees to its Chinese retail banking and wealth management arm this year. Most of the appointments are expected to be in the Pearl River Delta, home to 11 industrial cities set to fuse into one megalopolis, and the heart of the lender’s growth strategy in China.
“As of this point, we are very pleased with the progress in the Pearl River Delta. We certainly aren’t taking any backward steps,” Kevin Martin, HSBC’s Asia Pacific head of retail banking and wealth management, told the newswire.
Reuters notes, however, that while investors have supported the lender’s China growth plan, there have been increasing concerns over the last few months about risks the lender faces in its Asia ‘pivot’ strategy, due to the sluggish pace of the country’s economic recovery and the patchy pace of development in the Pearl River Delta.
In analyst news, BNP Paribas reiterated its ‘outperform’ rating on HSBC today, valuing the shares at 720p. According to MarketBeat, the Asia-focused lender currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 608.30p.