HSBC takes an option on India

British bank gambles on rule change through acquisition of UTI Bank stake.

HSBC's agreement last week to acquire a stake in UTI Bank took the market by surprise but represents another shrewd move by the world's local bank. The 14.72% stake cost HSBC $66.42 million and comes with a three-month option to buy a further 5.37% at the same price per share.

At just 1.6x book value that looks like a good deal for HSBC. Needless to say, it would rather control the bank outright, but given the...

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