Chinese Insurer Ping An increases HSBC stake

In an indication that China’s stance to HSBC may be softening, Chinese insurer Ping An has increased its stake in the bank to 8%.

According to a stock exchange filing the insurer increased its stake shares up from 7.95% – an additional 10.8 million shares, also further cementing its position as HSBC’s largest investor.

According to the Sunday Times, a spokesperson for the company said that it saw HSBC as a “long-term investment”.

The news comes after HSBC Holdings fell to a 25-year low last week amidst reports of growing tensions between the bank and China. 

The bank’s Hong Kong shares hit HK$29.60 earlier this morning. In London, HSBC dropped by 3.3%, in comparison to a benchmark of -1.7% on the FTSE 100 Index.

This takes the shares of the bank’s largest market to -51% so far in 2020, compared to Citigroup’s -44% and JP Morgan’s -29%.

It comes after an article in the Global Times on 19 September reported that HSBC was named as a “possible candidate” for China’s “unreliable entity list”. 

This comes after recent allegations that the bank had assisted in the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada in 2018 during the American investigation of Huawei Technologies Co, which also resulted in serious trade penalties for China.

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