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HSBC Intends to Add 300 Retail Wealth Staff in Asia in 2019

Zacks Equity Research

To strengthen performance and focus on building operations in Asia, HSBC Holdings plc HSBC plans to increase headcount by nearly 300 in the retail wealth management division in Asia by the end of 2019. Within the region, the company will focus more on Singapore, which will strengthen its presence in Hong Kong and China.

Kevin Martin, head of retail banking and wealth management for HSBC’s Asia Pacific region, stated that the bank is expected to add nearly 50 employees in its Singapore wealth management business and launch digital offerings in 2019.

Notably, HSBC is more capable to offer advice and investment products to affluent clients in Hong Kong and China than in Singapore. The company projects growth and plans to expand in Singapore over the next few years.

Martin stated, “As we build Asia wealth ... there is a really significant opportunity in Singapore, not just onshore Singapore, but offshore Singapore.”

He added that the bank will target both onshore and offshore clients in Singapore. The bank will primarily focus on rich individuals in China, India and other Southeast Asian nations, who require wealth management services in Singapore.

Clients with more than $5 million of investable assets are dealt by HSBC’s private banking unit. Its retail banking and wealth management division focuses on clients with investable assets of less than $5 million.

Notably, HSBC’s plan of expanding in Asia is part of its broader objective of delivering high-single digit revenue growth annually from the region. Along with this, the bank aims to increase mortgage market share and expand commercial client base in the U.K. Further, the company intends to build on its market share in transaction banking and deliver mid-to-high single digit revenue growth every year from international network.

Apart from growing the retail wealth management division, HSBC intends to boost its insurance business in Hong Kong, China and Singapore in 2019.

As the company seeks to capture more of Asia's wealth, it is also ramping up its Singapore insurance business with new products and expanded distribution. Recently, the bank rebranded its insurance business in Singapore to HSBC Life Singapore. Also, it launched two new whole-life plans for retail and high net worth segments.

In the past three months, shares of HSBC have gained 3.4%, against 4.1% decline of the industry.

Currently, HSBC carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other top-ranked stocks from the finance space are Cohen & Steers, Inc CNS, BlackRock, Inc BLK and Franklin Resources, Inc BEN. All these stocks currently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

In the past 60 days, Cohen & Steers witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 6.9% for 2019. Its shares have surged 36.7% in the past six months.

In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for BlackRock’s current-year earnings has been revised 5.2% upward. Its shares have inched up 0.2% in the past six months.

Franklin Resources has witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 8.9% for fiscal 2019, in the past 60 days. The company’s shares have improved 1.9% in the past three months.

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