HSBC is in talks to sell its Latin America
businesses in Columbia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay.

In a statement issued by HSBC to the Hong Kong
Stock Exchange, the bank confirmed it is in discussions regarding
the possible sale.

However, the bank refused to elaborate on the
discussions, or give any financial details, and said that it will
make further announcements “if and when appropriate”.

HSBC Private Bank’s Latin American business
accounted for only 2% of its overall pre-tax profit in 2011.


Slimming down strategy

In the past six months, HSBC has sold wealth
business in Japan, its retail banking and wealth management
business in Thailand and is in discussions to sell its wealth
operations in Pakistan, Korea and Mauritius.  It is also
‘refocusing’ its Middle Eastern business.

HSBC’s announcement is in line with plans
outlined in May 2011.

The bank’s chief executive, Stuart Gulliver,
wants to cut annual costs by $3.5bn and sharpen HSBC’s focus on
Asia by quitting countries, or businesses, where it lacks