HSBC in Africa

HSBC Africa, part of the HSBC Group, offers its clients global reach and connectivity as well as an in-depth local knowledge.

The HSBC Group established a presence in sub-Saharan Africa in 1981 and entered the South African market in 1995. It expanded its regional operations because of increased demand for trading, opening a corporate and institutional bank in Johannesburg in 2003. It was initially a branch of HSBC Bank plc (incorporated in the United Kingdom), and in 2007 the Johannesburg office became a branch of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (incorporated in Hong Kong).

Today, HSBC Africa’s principal activity is global banking and markets. The business is managed out of the regional hub in Johannesburg. HSBC Africa’s Commercial Banking business offers the same services to large local and international corporates.

For details about HSBC’s global operations, Group board members and financial results, go to our corporate website 

Latest news

HSBC acted as Sole Financial Adviser to Sibanye Gold Limited ("Sibanye") on its acquisition of the Rustenburg operations from Anglo American Platinum (“Amplats“), majority controlled by Anglo American plc, for an upfront consideration of ZAR1.5 billion and a minimum deferred earn-out payment of ZAR3 billion.

This transaction demonstrates HSBC’s role as strategic adviser to Sibanye across M&A and balance sheet solutions, advising the company over a period of time and positions us for future strategic roles. The transaction is also an important credential of HSBC's capabilities to advise on complex M&A situations in the South African commodities sector.

HSBC’s role was undertaken as a joint effort by the London-based Resources and Energy Group (Metals and Mining) and Mergers and Acquisitions (EMEA) teams and the South African Global Banking Advisory and Coverage teams.


HSBC Group history timeline


1865
 
2016

Hong Kong harbour, Chinese artist, early 1860s

Staff in Fuzhou, China, 1887

Portrait of Thomas Jackson, around 1890

Chinese railway bond certificate, 1907

Staff in military uniform, First World War

Hong Kong building, 1965

Prison camp diary of HSBC staff member Max Haymes, 1943

Hong Kong garment factory, around 1950

Persian banknote, early 20th century

UK cash machine, around 1970

HSBC office, New York, 1999

HSBC lion, London, present day

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The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited opened in Hong Kong on 3 March 1865 and in Shanghai one month later. It was the first locally owned bank to operate according to Scottish banking principles.

By 1875 HSBC was present in seven countries across Asia, Europe and North America. It financed the export of tea and silk from China, cotton and jute from India, sugar from the Philippines and rice and silk from Vietnam.

By 1900, after strong growth under Chief Manager Thomas Jackson, the bank had expanded into 16 countries and was financing trade across the world. Bullion, exchange and merchant banking were important features of the bank’s business.

In the early 20th century, HSBC widened the scope of its activities in Asia. It issued loans to national governments to finance modernisation and infrastructure projects such as railway building.

The First World War brought disruption and dislocation to many businesses. By the 1920s, however, Asia was beginning to prosper again as new industries developed and trade in commodities such as rubber and tin soared.

The 1930s brought recession and turmoil to many markets. Nonetheless, HSBC asked architects Palmer and Turner to design a new head office in Hong Kong: “Please build us the best bank in the world.” The cutting-edge art deco building opened in 1935.

The bank faced one of its most challenging times during the Second World War. Staff in Asia showed huge courage in the face of adversity. Many became prisoners of war. Only the London, Indian and US branches remained in full operation.

At the end of the war, HSBC took on a key role in the reconstruction of the Hong Kong economy. Its support helped established manufacturers as well as newcomers to Hong Kong grow their business.

By the 1970s the bank had expanded through acquisition. HSBC bought Mercantile Bank and The British Bank of the Middle East in 1959. In 1972 it formed a merchant banking arm, extending its range of services.

In the 1980s HSBC bought Marine Midland Bank in the US. In 1992, the newly created HSBC Holdings plc made a recommended offer for full ownership of the UK’s Midland Bank. Following the acquisition, HSBC moved its headquarters to London.

In 1998, the bank announced it would adopt a unified brand, using HSBC and the hexagon symbol everywhere it operated.

As new markets blossom and flourish, HSBC continues to be where the growth is, connecting customers to opportunities. The bank enables businesses to thrive and economies to prosper, helping people fulfil their hopes and dreams and realise their ambitions.

India: More jobs per click

26 August 2016

India faces a shortfall of 24 million jobs over the next decade, HSBC economists predict. But growth in e-commerce could fill half of them.

How weak productivity can neuter monetary policy

25 August 2016

Weak output growth is creating challenges for the developed world, says HSBC’s Stephen King.

A marathon effort

24 August 2016

HSBC employee Frank talks about the voluntary work he does with the visually impaired.