HSBC to sell Latin American operations to Banco GNB Sudameris for $400 mn

HSBC Holdings yesterday said that it had agreed to sell its Latin American operations to Colombia's Banco GNB Sudameris for $400 million in cash, as Europe's largest lender continues to sell non-core assets in order to cut costs and boost profitability.

The London-based bank is selling its operations in Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay, which had 62 branches and assets worth $4.4 billion as of end-December.

HSBC has 62 branches in the four Latin American countries, 24 in Peru, 20 in Colombia, 11 in Uruguay and 7 in Paraguay - out of more than 3,000 across the Americas.

Antonio Losada, president and CEO of HSBC Latin America and the Caribbean, said, "We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Banco GNB Sudameris as we seek to focus on our operations where we see the greatest potential for sustainable growth for HSBC."

The Colombia and Peru deals are expected to close in the last quarter of this year, while Uruguay and Paraguay should close in the first quarter of 2013, the lender said in a statement.

Bogota-based GNB Sudameris Bank is a financial group controlled by Grupo Gilinski. It was created from the merger between the Bank and the Bank Sudameris Colombia Tequendama,