HSBC to sell ship consultancy arm to management team

LONDON Thu Aug 2, 2012 2:00pm EDT

Passersby walk inside HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong July 30, 2012. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Passersby walk inside HSBC headquarters in Hong Kong July 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

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LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC Bank (HSBA.L) said on Thursday it had reached a deal to sell HSBC Shipping Services Ltd to the ship broking and consultancy unit's management team.

HSBC (0005.HK) has been pulling back from unprofitable markets and businesses as part of a three-year recovery plan. It has already sold 28 businesses and cut 15,000 staff from its payroll.

"The sale represents further progress in the implementation of the HSBC Group's strategy and is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2012," the bank said, adding the group would continue to provide a full range of banking products and services to the shipping industry.

The sale price of the deal was not disclosed.

HSBC Shipping Services, which will be renamed Hartland Shipping Services Ltd, will subsequently provide shipping-related valuation and consultancy services to the HSBC Group on a global basis.

A shipping slump and growing global economic turmoil have compelled many banks to scale back exposure to heavy industries.

In June, German bank Commerzbank (CBKG.DE) said it would wind up its ship finance and commercial real estate units as stricter liquidity requirements force it to cut back on capital intensive activities.

(Reporting by Jonathan Saul; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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