HSBC is in talks to buy up to 70 percent of South Africa’s Nedbank, the country’s fourth-largest lender.
The seller is Anglo-South African insurer Old Mutual, which owns a 52 percent controlling stake in Nedbank.
The deal is worth around 5.4 billion euros and would give Europe’s biggest bank broader access to the fast-growing African continent, where it has lagged behind rival Standard Chartered.
“This is the right thing for HSBC to do if it wants to focus on emerging markets,” said Dominic Chan, an analyst at BNP Paribas in Hong Kong.
“Trade between Africa and China has been growing very rapidly, and HSBC doesn’t have the same presence there as Standard Chartered, which makes this buy especially crucial if it wants to continue expanding there.”
It was not immediately clear whether HSBC would get the necessary clearance from South Africa’s regulators to buy a stake in Nedbank.
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