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CORRECTED: HSBC to sell part of Singapore insurance business

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Global banking giant HSBC said Wednesday it would sell part of its insurance business in Singapore in a deal valued at around $19.3 million, as part of a plan to cut costs by offloading non-core assets.

HSBC said its insurance unit in the city-state has agreed to sell the group term life insurance and group medical portfolios to AXA Life Insurance Singapore, the country's number two general insurer by revenue according to AXA.

The transaction is expected to be completed this year. The rest of the life insurance business is unaffected.

"The sale... represents further progress in the execution of the group's strategy," the London-based but Asia-focused lender said in a statement.

HSBC has been streamlining its global operations to slash costs, after the bank said in 2011 that it aimed to save up to $3.5 billion by this year and to axe 30,000 jobs globally.

The bank said last month that its 2012 net profit sank 16.5 percent, after it was hit by US money-laundering fines, mis-selling scandals, rising taxation and a huge accounting charge.

China in February approved the British bank's sale of its stake in insurance giant Ping An, the nation's second largest life insurer, for $9.4 billion to a Thai conglomerate.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130403/corrected-hsbc-sell-part-singapore-insurance-business