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Awards for Excellence 2013: Best Emerging markets investment bank

The investment bank’s prowess springs from and is fed by its strong commercial banking presence in and between burgeoning emerging markets.

Awards for Excellence 2013

Best Emerging markets investment bank: HSBC

Also shortlisted: Citi, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered

HSBC’s investment banking model is often misunderstood. Its fixed-income, currencies and commodities business is not in the same league, in revenue terms, as such rivals as JPMorgan, Citi or Deutsche Bank; its global equities business lacks scale; and it has never actively coveted a top-tier position in emerging market M&A and ECM across all regions.

In short, HSBC has never sought to build a conventional top-tier global investment bank. However, this strategy is deliberate. HSBC’s raison d’être is financing-led, focused on intermediating growing emerging market-focused trade flows and catering to rising corporate demand for sophisticated products and capital market solutions.

With conventional top-tier global investment banks grappling with the challenge of generating the revenue scale needed to achieve return on equity targets amid market and regulatory pressures, HSBC’s alternative and corporate-focused business model deserves credit. It has strategically beefed up its wholesale banking operation – transaction banking and custody services – to leverage client relationships, cross-sell investment banking products and to ensure emerging market-focused corporates invest in the HSBC brand at an early stage.

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