HSBC Buys AXA’s Singapore Assets

HSBC Buys AXA’s Singapore Assets For US$575mil

SINGAPORE – In a bid to expand its wealth management business in Asia, London-based HSBC has entered into a deal to acquire the entire Singapore assets and operations of French insurance giant AXA for a total of US$575 million, reported Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Tuesday (17 August).

“This is an important acquisition that demonstrates our ambition to grow our wealth business across Asia,” commented HSBC’s CEO Noel Quinn.

“Wealth is one of our highest growth and highest return opportunities, and plays to our strengths as an Asia-centred bank with global reach.”

HSBC revealed that it intends to combine the operations of AXA Singapore and HSBC Life Singapore once the deal is concluded by around Q4 2021. However, the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Notably, HSBC is presently ranked at number 10 for life insurance in Singapore and it doesn’t have a health insurance business here. Once both entities are merged, it would be the 4th biggest retail health insurance provider and the 7th largest life insurer in the city-state.

Based on data from Dealogic, the transaction represents HSBC’s biggest acquisition since the US$726 million merger of its Oman business with Oman International Bank in 2012.

Earlier this year, HSBC divested 90 branches in the US and completed the long-running sale of its unprofitable retail banking business in France. Then in July 2021, Quinn revealed that they’re scouting for 3 or 4 “bolt on” acquisitions in Asia excluding China in the sectors of asset management and insurance.

The latest news has confirmed that one of those “bolt on” acquisitions is in Singapore, which HSBC considers as a “strategically important scale market, and a major hub for its ASEAN wealth business.”

Apart from being one of the world’s leading offshore wealth hubs, the city-state serves as a regional base for thousands of multinational corporations (MNCs).

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