HSBC sells Chilean retail banking division

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Global banking giant HSBC said Thursday it has agreed to sell its Chilean retail assets to Banco Itau Chile for an undisclosed amount, as it continues to streamline group operations.

"HSBC, through its wholly owned subsidiary HSBC Bank (Chile) has entered into an agreement to sell its retail banking business in Chile to Banco Itau Chile," it said in a statement on the London Stock Exchange.

"The value of the gross assets to be disposed of was US$20 million (14.6 million euros) at 31 August 2011."

The deal, which remains subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.

"HSBC will continue to operate in Chile, concentrating on its strengths in Global Banking and Markets and Commercial Banking," it added on Thursday.

"The transaction represents further progress in the execution of HSBC's new global strategy outlined in May 2011."

The sale comes after HSBC announced massive cost-cutting measures earlier this year.

In May, HSBC launched plans to save up to $3.5 billion by 2013 and to axe 30,000 jobs globally over the next two years as it shifts focus to fast-growing markets.

Last month, HSBC had unveiled the sale of its United States credit card and retail services business to US lender Capital One Financial Corp.

© 2011 AFP

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