HSBC names veteran banker head of Asia belt and road initiative

HONG KONG, REUTERS -- HSBC Holdings Plc said on Monday it had appointed its Malaysia CEO to the newly created position of head of Belt and Road initiative in Asia Pacific, as it bets on China's drive to build a modern-day Silk Road to help grow its business.

Mukhtar Hussain, who first joined HSBC in 1982, will start in his new role on July 1, the London-headquartered bank, which made over 75 percent of its profits in Asia in 2017, said in a statement.

Introduced in 2013, the Belt and Road project is aimed at building a modern-day economic Silk Road, connecting China by land and sea to Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Central Asia, and beyond to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Global banks including Citigroup, HSBC and Standard Chartered have been boosting their staff and presence for offerings — from capital market solutions to hedging — as the belt and road drive fuels demand.

In this new role, Hussain will spearhead key initiatives and relationships to grow HSBC's Asian Belt and Road business and drive collaboration across the bank's global businesses and international footprint, the lender said.