HSBC talks on Pakistan and Korea sales

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HSBC, Europe's largest bank, is in talks to sell its Korean and Pakistan businesses as part of chief executive Stuart Gulliver's plans to cut costs and exit non-core areas.

The Korean business, which has 11 branches involved in retail banking and wealth management, is likely to be sold to the Korea Development Bank. With assets of £16.5bn, a Korean disposal would be reasonably large.

In Pakistan, the bank said it is "in discussions with a number of interested parties". This operation is relatively small with assets of about £350m.

Mr Gulliver has so far sold off 23 businesses as part of his scheme to concentrate only on areas where HSBC has significant scale and good growth prospects.