HSBC Says to Spend $200 Mln on Russia Expansion

LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings HSBA.L, Europe's biggest bank, is to invest $200 million of new capital to expand in Russia and has appointed a new chief executive for the country, it said on Wednesday.

Stuart Lawson has been appointed CEO designate “with a mandate to accelerate HSBC’s growth across the country.”

HSBC said Lawson is a Russia expert with over a decade's experience of running banks in the country, including as CEO of Citibank C.N in Russia.

HSBC said the injection of $200 million of new capital will be used to fuel expansion across all business lines. It is subject to Central Bank of Russia and other local approvals.

The bank has already opened three new regional representative offices in Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and St. Petersburg, which will offer corporate clients a range of commercial banking services.

HSBC has said it will focus investment in emerging markets and Russia is a key strategic focus, said Stephen Green, the bank’s chairman.

Lawson replaces career HSBC banker Jon Hartley, who will return to Britain.

HSBC’s presence in Russia dates back to 1918. For the last decade it has focused on providing corporate banking, treasury and advisory services to multinational and Russian corporate and institutional clients and currently employs more than 200 people.

Reporting by Steve Slater, Editing by Mark Potter