HSBC Holdings’ (LON:HSBA) new chairman is eyeing acquisitions, with American credit card businesses said to be among his targets, The Sunday Times has reported. Mark Tucker, who took the reins at Europe’s biggest bank last month, has disclosed his plans for expansion in meetings with shareholders.
HSBC’s share price has been subdued in London in today’s session, having slipped 0.84 percent to 735.10p as of 13:09 GMT, slightly underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which is currently 0.16 percent worse off at 7,420.75 points. The group’s shares have added more than 18 percent to their value over the past year, are up by nearly 12 percent in the year-to-date.
HSBC chair eyes American deals
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that HSBC’s new chairman had told investors that he was on the prowl for acquisitions, with American credit card businesses among his targets. The newspaper notes that City sources believe he could look to buy Synchrony Financial, a small credit card business in the US. He is said to be looking at other acquisitions as well.
“American credit card businesses are extremely lucrative,” one City banker told The Sunday Times. “HSBC is a prime lender — it would be unlikely to go for anything that was even bordering sub-prime.”
Investors meanwhile are reportedly wary of the plans, given the broad retrenchment by all the world’s big banks in the wake of the financial crisis.
Analysts on HSBC
Goldman Sachs, which sees the Asia-focused lender as a ‘neutral,’ set a price target of 815p on the shares last week. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 group currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 723.65p.
HSBC updated investors on its third-quarter performance at the end of last month, posting a rise in profits, but unveiling a small drop in its core capital.