April 28, 2016

HSBC is a major multinational financial organization that lends services to over 48 million customers throughout the world. The group has 6,100 offices in 72 countries and territories across Europe, Asia, the Middle East as well as North and Latin America. With this, according to The Telegraph, 80% of the group’s profits come from Asia.

HSBC’s activities are carried out within four business spheres:

  • Retail Banking and Wealth Management;
  • Commercial Banking;
  • Global Banking and Markets;
  • Global Private Banking.

HSBC Holdings plc shares are listed on the London, Hong Kong, New York, Paris and Bermuda stock exchanges. The number of shareholders are over 213,000 from more than 130 countries.

The biggest constituent of HSBC Holdings is its subsidiary HSBC Bank. A year ago, this major bank in the UK was at the center of a scandal after it was reported that its Swiss arm helped some clients avoid taxes by allowing them to withdraw huge amounts of cash.

That obviously couldn’t but alarm HSBC shareholders. However, according to The Guardian, there was no formal action from the City regulator, which brought some relief for investors and consolidated HSBC’s market power. Nonetheless, The Financial Times reports that the White House and President Obama aren’t going to hush it up ahead of the new presidential elections in the USA.

Despite the possibility of a further investigation, one of the world leading rating agencies Standard & Poor's has quite a positive outlook for HSBC. S&P analysts say that although HSBC Bank’s credit rating dropped very low, they expect it to be upgraded especially if global economic and geopolitical risks solidify. For the time being, S&P has confirmed its long-term credit rating for the bank and kept it as ‘stable.’

Ian Gordon, banking analyst at Investec, adds that HSBC is an attractive investment, that’s why they have £40 million invested in the shares. Lately HSBC has been criticized for a number of money-losing businesses in its structure. However, HSBC has decided to sell its Brazil operation for $5.2 billion, which is considered a good sign. Furthermore, Ian Gordon believes that HSBC shares can go up alongside UK interest rates, a few of which are expected (0.25% each) in 2016. So the Investec analyst predicts the price of HSBC shares will rise by 10% or more. His target is £6.35p a share.

“We offer our customers HSBC shares for binary options trading,” says John Gordon, leading analyst from international broker company NordFX. “While my colleague and namesake from Investec looks at how many percentage points the price of shares may gain, numbers aren’t of primary importance for us. What matters is that the price moves in the desired direction. We carefully analyze actions of such major market players as Investec, BNP Paribas, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Societe Generale, Nomura and others. Their opinions are divided, although there is a leaning toward buying HSBC shares. Thus, 20% of investors want to sell, 50% are on the fence and 30% actively buy the shares.”

The NordFX analyst continues, “For the past year, there were many discussions about transferring the HSBC headquarters from London to Hong Kong where it had been located before 1993. Ultimately it was decided to stay in London. With this, any optimization of the current HSBC business model may have a positive impact on potential profits and lead to a dynamic rise of HSBC shares.”

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