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HSBC appoints Wang as China chief executive

FILE PHOTO: HSBC logo is seen on a branch bank in the financial district in New York

HONG KONG (Reuters) - HSBC has appointed a new chief executive for its China business, a major focus for the bank, the latest in a series of senior management changes.

Mark Wang, head of HSBC's China investment banking business, will become China CEO, HSBC said in a statement on Wednesday.

HSBC interim group CEO Noel Quinn last month announced a drastic overhaul of the bank, slashing 35,000 jobs in its European and U.S. businesses.

Its Asian business, which accounts for most of its profits, was left comparatively unscathed.

Quinn took over last year following the surprise ousting of former CEO John Flint.

Helen Wong, HSBC’s then head of greater China, which includes the bank’s key market of Hong Kong, departed days after Flint, and now runs Singaporean bank OCBC's wholesale banking division.

“China is central to HSBC’s strategic aim of accelerating growth from its Asian franchise,” said Peter Wong, chief executive of the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC's Asian operations, in Wednesday's statement.

HSBC has deployed billions of dollars in China’s southern Pearl River Delta region, adjacent to Hong Kong, and has tied itself to China's outward-looking Belt and Road Initiative.

However, it has not all been plain sailing for the bank in China.

HSBC's role in the arrest of technology firm Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou generated weeks of hostile media coverage within China.

It was also drawn into political turmoil in Hong Kong, when protesters attacked some of its branches and daubed graffiti on the famous pair of lions that guard its headquarters during a New Year's Day anti-government protest.

Current China CEO David Liao will move to another senior position in the group, the bank said.



(Reporting by Alun John; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)