HONG KONG (Reuters) -HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker told the bank’s shareholders in Hong Kong on Wednesday a spin-off of its Asian business will not happen.

“There is no appetite amongst our shareholder base, as demonstrated by last year’s AGM results, to vote for a spinoff. That will not happen,” Tucker said at the meeting in response to a shareholder’s question.

HSBC defeated a resolution last year from Hong Kong-based shareholders and backed by major investor Ping An to potentially spin-off its lucrative Asia business.

At the time, the company said the majority of its institutional and retail investor base backed the board and the structure of the bank.

The bank in February reported its 2023 pretax profit jumped 78% to $30.3 billion, but still missed a consensus estimate of $34.1 billion, largely due to a $3 billion impairment on its stake in China’s Bank of Communications.

HSBC had also announced a new $2 billion buyback, an annual dividend of $0.61 per share and the intention to pay a special dividend of $0.21 per share once it completes the sale of its Canada business.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Dorothy Kam in Hong Kong, writing by Scott Murdoch in Sydney; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Devika Syamnath)

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