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hsbc: HSBC exceeds China wealth hiring targets, explores India private banking re-entry

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SINGAPORE: HSBC Holdings Plc is ahead of its hiring targets for its Chinese retail wealth management business and is exploring re-entering India’s private banking business, senior executives said, as part of its plan to make Asia and wealth key pillars of growth.
Under a strategy spearheaded by Group CEO Noel Quinn, HSBC is ploughing $3.5 billion into its wealth and personal banking business, in line with its ambition to become Asia’s top wealth manager by 2025.
“We are the leading international bank in China, so we want to squeeze that opportunity,” said CEO of Wealth and Personal Banking Nuno Matos, one of four top executives moving to Hong Kong from London this year as part of the bank’s regional pivot.
“On the private banking side, we are now in clear expansion mode,” Matos told Reuters in one of his first interviews since moving to the region.
Asia is the biggest region for HSBC, and the wealth and personal banking unit contributed 44% or $22 billion to London-headquartered HSBC’s adjusted global revenue last year.
The bank is looking to boost its mobile wealth planning service, HSBC Pinnacle, in China by having about 700 personal wealth planners by the year-end instead of the 550 originally planned, Matos said.
HSBC’s wealth management services include investments, insurance and asset management products, while private banking caters to the needs of those with investible assets of $5 million or more.
The bank had 20 people operating in China onshore private banking business at the end of last year, said Siew Meng Tan, head of HSBC Private Banking for Asia Pacific.
“By the end of this year, we will get to 64 and by the end of next year, we’ll double that,” she said.
HSBC is exploring whether to re-enter onshore private banking in India, where the ranks of the super rich are growing fast and record high stock markets have created a string of billion dollar start-ups.
HSBC exited the Indian private banking business in 2015 as part of a group strategy. The lucrative but very competitive Indian market has few foreign players.
“We want to bank mass affluent and high net worth customers. At this moment, the two major pillars we are expanding in India are insurance and asset management,” Matos said.
“On the private banking side, we are not there yet and that’s something that demands a strategic decision this year.”
Currently, HSBC is focusing on catering to wealthy Indians from its global hubs in Singapore, London and the Middle East.
‘Compelling opportunity’
HSBC is also looking to bulk up its Singapore and Southeast Asia presence, Matos said. In August, the bank bought French insurer AXA’s Singapore assets for $575 million.
Though HSBC has a dominant Asia presence with its retail banking, particularly in the financial hub of Hong Kong, global leaders such as UBS and Credit Suisse rule the market for wealthier clients.
Global wealth managers remain bullish about their growth prospects in China despite an unprecedented regulatory crackdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
In a global wealth report published in June, Boston Consulting Group said Asia’s wealth management revenue pools will soar faster than any other market worldwide, nearly doubling over the next five years to $52 billion.
“Asian wealth is expanding twice as fast as the rest of the world. This is a compelling opportunity for us,” said Matos, who took charge of HSBC’s newly combined division in February.
“I’m not going to re-do now our goals but what I can say is that in 2021, we will over-deliver our goals on the wealth side,” he said.
After announcing plans last year to buy out its life insurance joint venture partner in China, HSBC is also keen to gain full control of its asset management company in the country, Matos said.





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Services sector activity in November registers second-fastest pace of growth since July 2011: Survey

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NEW DELHI: Services sector activity expanded at the second-fastest pace in more than a decade during November, driven by sustained rise in new work and improvement in market conditions, a monthly survey said on Friday.
The seasonally adjusted India Services Business Activity Index was at 58.1 in November, fractionally down from 58.4 in October. The November figure points to the second-fastest rise in output since July 2011.
For the fourth straight month, the services sector witnessed an expansion in output. In Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) parlance, a print above 50 means expansion while a score below 50 denotes contraction.
“The recovery of the Indian service sector was extended to November, with a robust improvement in sales enabling the second-fastest rise in business activity in nearly ten-and-a-half years,” Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director at IHS Markit, said.
Although companies forecast higher business activity volumes over the course of the coming year, the expansion is expected to be restricted by price pressures.
Amid reports of higher fuel, labour, material, retail and transportation costs, average input prices among Indian services companies rose further in November.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions reportedly caused a further drop in international demand for Indian services. The latest fall in external sales was the twenty-first in successive months although among the slowest over this period, the survey said.
As per the survey, private sector activity in India continued to expand, taking the current sequence of growth to four months.
The composite PMI output index — which measures combined services and manufacturing output — rose from 58.7 in October to 59.2 in November, signalling the strongest upturn since January 2012.
“Looking at the manufacturing and service sectors combined, the results are even more encouraging and bode well for economic performance in the third quarter of fiscal year 2021-22 so far. With production growth quickening considerably in November, private sector output expanded at the fastest pace since January 2012,” Lima said.
India’s GDP growth stood at 8.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2021-22 and surpassed the pre-Covid level, official data showed on Tuesday.





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ramachandran: Sandeep Ghosh to head Visa India; Ramachandran relocates to Singapore

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MUMBAI: International digital payments major Visa has announced new leadership for India and South Asia, with the incumbent TR Ramachandran being relocated to Singapore from next year to lead its newly created new payment flows business.
Ramachandran will be succeeded by Sandeep Ghosh, most recently a partner and leader of the financial services consulting practice at EY India, said Chris Clark, Visa Inc regional president.
Ramachandran joined Visa in 2015 to lead its business across India and South Asia.
Deutsche Bank India expands wealth management team
Deutsche Bank India has announced expansion of its wealth management team with a team of new hires, taking the total strength to over 15 in the past one year alone.
The additional hires are being made across the areas of relationship management and investment advisory, Amrit Singh, head of wealth management for South Asia said.
Among the new hires include Rajasekar Ayyalu who has joined as a director in Chennai where he will be responsible for expanding and deepening the bank’s presence. He joins from Julius Baer where he was an executive director prior to which he worked at Merrill Lynch and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
In addition to Rajasekar, four vice-presidents — Jai Bhatia, Sanyam Sharma , Anjali Vashisth and Manish Lalwani–have joined the Delhi and Mumbai offices as relationship managers, Atinkumar Saha, head of wealth management at Deutsche Bank India said.





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Net direct tax revenue rises 68% to Rs 6.92 lakh crore till November 23

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NEW DELHI: The net direct tax collection grew nearly 68 per cent during April 1 to November 23 to more than Rs 6.92 lakh crore, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said on Monday.
“The Net Direct Tax Collection figures for the FY- 2021-22 as on 23.11.2021 are at Rs 6,92,833.6 crores showing a growth of 67.93 per cent and 27.29 per cent over the net collection figures for the corresponding period FY2020-21 and FY 2019-20,” he said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
The net collection between April 1 – November 23 in 2020-21 and 2019-20 fiscals was over Rs 4.12 lakh crore and over Rs 5.44 lakh crore respectively.
The gross direct tax collection (before adjusting refunds) as of November 23 stood at over Rs 8.15 lakh crore, a 48.11 growth over the collections in the corresponding period in last fiscal.
Chaudhary further said that the gross GST collection in the current fiscal (April 2021-March’22) post Covid-19 outbreak is showing an increasing trend.
The gross GST collection for full 2020-21 ended March 2021 was over Rs 11.36 lakh crore, while the same in the current fiscal till October stood at Rs 8.10 lakh crore.
In reply to a separate question on whether incidents of tax evasion are increasing in Delhi and other parts of the country, Chaudhary said there is no evidence to suggest that incidents of income tax evasion are increasing in Delhi and other parts of the country.
“In terms of cases detected under Goods & Service Tax (GST) and Customs, there is no increasing trend in such evasion noticed in Delhi, although, there is overall increase in detection of GST and Customs evasion cases in the country,” he added.





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