Buy HSBC (HSBC)

12/30/2008 10:12 pm EST

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

The bank has reacted to its ill-fated entry into the U.S. mortgage market--nothing like making a $17 billion acquisition just in time to reap $17 billion in losses--by aggressively reaffirming its presence in Asia. HSBC is the largest bank in Hong Kong, the source of about 20% of its profits, and it owns a 60% stake in Hang Seng Bank, the third largest in the city. In India it is one of the biggest corporate lenders and a pioneer in wealth management for the country's growing middle and upper classes. Over all, the bank is the world's biggest collector of deposits serving more than 125 million retail customers with $1.1 trillion in deposits.

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