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HSBC to sell PE fund stakes

HSBC is to sell as much as €2 billion of private equity fund stakes on the secondaries market. The bank has appointed private equity advisory firm Campbell Lutyens to handle the sale. The sale would make HSBC one of the last remaining European lenders to sell down investments in the asset class. Many of its rivals, including Crédit Agricole, Lloyds Banking Group and UniCredit, have done so to comply with regulations such as the Volcker Rule in the US and the European Union’s Basel III. Secondaries advisers said there was now more clarity regarding the final guidelines of the Volcker Rule, which is due to come into force and aims to curb banks’ proprietary trading activity and investments in hedge funds and private equity funds. A firm deadline of July 2015 has been put in place by US regulators, meaning banks that took a ‘wait and see’ approach are now looking to sell their holdings. HSBC held $2.7 billion worth of private equity holdings last year, down from $2.9 billion in 2012, according to the bank’s annual report and accounts for 2013.

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