HSBC is reportedly considering acquisition opportunities in Asian wealth management space as its first quarter earnings beat expectations.

The British banking giant, which is looking to accelerate its pivot to Asia, reported profit after tax of $4.6bn, which was $2.1bn or 82% higher than the year ago quarter. Its profit before tax of $5.8bn was $2.6bn or 79% higher.

HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn told Nikkie Asia that the bank is currently looking at opportunities that are at different stages of evaluation.

“The acquisitions will be primarily focused on building out product capability or distribution, Quinn told the publication on a media call after the company’s results were released.

According to Quinn, the bank seeking deal opportunities in Hong Kong and China as well as in other Asian countries, including Singapore and India.

“If we were to do acquisitions they will be bolt on, small portfolios of businesses,” he added.

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By GlobalData

Meanwhile, HSBC CFO Ewen Stevenson told Bloomberg Television this week that ‘very few’ of Citigroup’s retail banking assets in Asia would be a ‘good fit’ for the company.

Citigroup put up its assets for sale after it decided to a plug on its retail banking business in 13 markets in Europe and Asia following a global restructuring exercise.

HSBC’s push into wealth management is said to be the key focus of its plan to invest half of its capital in Asia in the medium term.

It is part of the bank’s strategy to grow its fee-generating businesses to balance the plummeting lending-margin caused by low interest rates.

In February this year, HSBC revealed plans to establish itself as a wealth management leader with focus on high-growth markets in Asia after its full-year pre-tax profit plummeted 34%.

Last May, the bank said it expects to register double-digit asset growth in its wealth business in Asia Pacific in the next three years.