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HSBC: Market Turmoil Could Alter Acquisition Plans

LONDON (Reuters) – Europe's largest bank HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Friday that the current turbulence could throw up acquisition opportunities, but said it was unclear the market was set for a string of transformational mergers.

“The commentary often presumes that the current financial market turbulence is going to lead to a lot of transforming deals. We'll see — I'm not so sure,” Chairman Stephen Green told shareholders at the bank's annual general meeting, in answer to a question on whether the bank was interested in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research), UBS (UBSN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) or Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

“I am struck by the way the institutions that have found themselves in need of capital have relatively easily been able to find it, so far.”

He added: “There may well be opportunities in the financial turbulence that is going on at the moment. My promise to you is we will not do anything that does not fit with our strategy and does not make good sense for our shareholders.”

(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques, Editing by Mark Potter)