£744m deal said to be close to completion

HSBC is close to selling its general insurance business to AXA and QBE, who will split the unit between them, according to news reports.  

The insurer is rumoured to be worth $1bn (£744m). Reuters reported that the deal was close, while a story from Sky News detailed the division of the business between AXA and QBE.

Sky News said AXA would buy HSBC’s general insurance business in Asia outside Hong Kong, while QBE would pick up the Hong Kong business, plus HSBC’s insurance operations in Argentina.

The sale of the general insurance business is part of a $3.5bn cost-cutting drive by HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver.