HSBC Leaders Try to Placate Restive Hong Kong Shareholders - WSJ

HSBC Leaders Try to Placate Restive Hong Kong Shareholders

Bank’s U.K. bosses apologize for earlier dividend cuts and say splitting off Asia business would hurt its value

Chinese leader Xi Jinping celebrated the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain. WSJ’s Selina Cheng walked around the city during Friday’s events to see how his visit symbolizes Beijing’s increasing authority over Hong Kong. Photo: Selim Chtayti/Pool via Reuters

Top executives of HSBC Holdings PLC met with the bank’s shareholders in Hong Kong on Tuesday and sought to convince small investors that splitting off its Asian business wouldn’t benefit them.

HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker and Chief Executive Noel Quinn, who had traveled from London and went through a mandatory seven-day quarantine in the Asian financial hub, joined hundreds of attendees in a large convention hall on the Kowloon waterfront, across the harbor from the British bank’s office building in downtown Central. Outside the meeting venue, people held placards and banners with messages calling for changes at HSBC, and for the bank to protect the interests of its minority shareholders.

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