HSBC and Ping An plan breakup talks - source

STORY: HSBC and Ping An executives plan to meet in mid-May for talks about the bank’s future.

That’s according to a source close to the matter.

Chinese insurer Ping An is HSBC’s largest shareholder.

Last week, it called on the lender to look at ways to boost returns, including a a spin-off its Asian business.

HSBC has not commented on Ping An’s proposal but defended its structure.

The bank said it believed it had the right strategy and was focused on delivery.

HSBC's Hong-Kong listed shares rose close to 2% in early trade - outperforming rivals as markets warmed to the idea of a break-up.

HSBC shareholders have considered a break-up in recent years.

It's been driven by disappointing earnings and a failure to deliver double-digit returns weighing on the bank’s stock.

But some investors fear a split would be complex and have no guarantee of higher returns.

Both Ping An and HSBC declined to comment on the talks.

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