HONG KONG (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings plc (HSBA.L) has failed to win regulatory approval from the State Bank of Pakistan for the sale of its business in the country, the U.K.-based lender said.
HSBC will now explore alternative options for its banking business in Pakistan, it said in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing on Wednesday.
HSBC subsidiary HSBC Bank Middle East Limited HSBAIM.UL had been trying to sell the Pakistan business to JS Bank Limited (JSBL.KA) as part of a global retreat from countries where it lacked scale or struggled to make a profit.
The bank had announced in April last year that it was in talks to sell the Pakistan unit, which had just 10 branches.
(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)