HSBC to invest $15-17 bln by 2020 as strategy pivots to growth

HSBC to invest $15-17 bln by 2020 as strategy pivots to growth

LONDON-Reuters
HSBC to invest $15-17 bln by 2020 as strategy pivots to growth

HSBC will invest $15-17 billion in the next three years in areas including technology and its core Asian markets of Hong Kong and China as it swings from a strategy of cost-cutting to growth, new Chief Executive John Flint said on June 11.

The announcement is Flint’s first public indication to shareholders of the strategy he intends to pursue at HSBC, which has struggled to meet its profit goals in recent years after a shrinking of its global empire also cut income.

The update marks a definitive pivot in HSBC’s post-2008 crisis strategy, from cost-cutting and restructuring to investment and expansion as it seeks to improve returns.

The bank is targeting a return on tangible equity of 11 percent by 2020, Flint said, and will sustain its dividends at current levels.

“After a period of restructuring, it is now time for HSBC to get back into growth mode,” Flint said.

The main points of the bank’s refreshed strategy will likely come as little surprise for HSBC investors, with the focus squarely on further expansion in China and its prosperous southern Pearl River Delta region in particular.

The bank will also pursue further expansion in the British mortgage market as one of eight new strategic targets, HSBC said.

HSBC shares showed little reaction to the announcement, remaining flat.

The bank has found no silver bullet for its underperforming U.S. business, the strategy update released to investors on June 11 showed, with HSBC set to focus on trying to grow its market share among internationally-focused mid-sized companies.

Flint in February said the bank was reviewing its U.S. franchise, which has suffered from lack of scale and the consequences of its disastrous $15 billion acquisition of consumer lender Household in 2003.

HSBC, Investment, John Flint