HSBC share price: Bank’s French probe bail reduced to €100 million
A French appeals court has drastically reduced the bail HSBC Holdings Plc (LON:HSBA) must post in connection with a major tax fraud investigation. The court has slashed the bond to €100 million from the original amount of €1 billion, giving some respite to the British banking giant, which has been hit by several probes and charges related to the activities of its Swiss private banking unit. The Swiss unit faces allegations that it aided wealthy clients evade taxes and conceal assets from tax authorities in 2006-2007.
In April French magistrates placed HSBC under formal criminal investigation in relation to a probe into the alleged wrongdoing by its private bank. Although no charges were placed, the magistrates imposed a €1-billion bail on HSBC to cover a potential fine over the tax-evasion allegations. The demanded bail was nearly half the value of HSBC’s alleged fraud of €2.2 billion. The British bank appealed the bail, calling it excessive.
HSBC confirmed on Monday that the bail had been slashed. “The HSBC group takes note of the appeals court decision which partially upholds the appeal lodged in April,” a spokesman for the bank said, as quoted by Reuters. The decision was also confirmed by judicial sources.
In today’s trading, HSBC shares were down 0.2 percent at 593.70p, as of 8:34 BST. The stock has fallen 2.5 percent since the start of the year and the company’s market capitalisation currently stands at £115.5 billion.
As of June 16, 2015, the consensus forecast amongst 30 polled investment analysts covering HSBC had it that investors should hold their position in the company.This consensus estimate has been maintained since November 26, 2014, when the sentiment of investment analysts deteriorated from “outperform”.
As of 10:44 BST, Wednesday, 17 June, HSBC Holdings plc share price is 595.00p.