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On Monday, HSBC announced that it was preparing to sell its 40 percent stake in Ping An Insurance of China (PNGAY.PK) for as much as $9 billion. The bank initially purchased a 10 percent stake in Ping An in 2002 for $600 million, and subsequently added to the investment over the years.
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The British bank has recently begun to sell off some of its assets in order to run global operations more efficiently, and therefore increase profitability, according to The New York Times. Since the firm’s current Chief Executive Officer Stuart T. Gulliver joined HSBC in 2011, the bank has sold off more than 40 non-core assets for approximately $4 billion.
“HSBC has from time to time received approaches regarding its shareholding and confirms that it is in discussions which may or may not lead to the sale of the shares,” the bank said on Monday in a Hong Kong stock exchange announcement.