The Financial Post reports in its Saturday edition that HSBC Holdings' Canadian unit has piqued interest on Bay Street, as the country's financial services heavyweights consider whether they want to become even bigger by taking advantage of HSBC's announcement earlier this month that it is open to selling its Canadian assets.
The Post's Stephanie Hughes writes that each of the Big Six banks has had an initial meeting with HSBC to discuss the possibility of acquiring HSBC Bank Canada, which ranks behind them as the seventh-biggest lender, the Globe reported this week, citing two unnamed sources.
However, while each lender is hugely profitable, not all of the banks are well positioned to win the British financial giant's hand, leading to a debate over who is most likely to come out on top, assuming HSBC opts to proceed with a sale. Bank of Nova Scotia analyst Meny Grauman says the only Canadian bank currently suited to absorb the potential $10-billion price tag is Royal Bank of Canada, the country's largest lender. He says, "The other banks would need to raise significant amounts of capital in order to fund this transaction." He says Toronto-dominion Bank could do so by selling its interest in Charles Schwab.
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