Cash Call

April 08, 2009 (LBO) – HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, said it had completed its 12.5-billion-pound rights issue with the sale of the remaining 3.4 percent of shares not taken up by existing shareholders, AFP news agency reported. The British banking giant said Sunday it had a 96.6 percent take-up of the record rights issue, which is worth 18 billion dollars or 13.7 billion euros and was announced last month after a 70-percent plunge in profits.

On Monday, the London-based bank said Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Cazenove and HSBC bank had placed the remaining 3.4 percent, at 448 pence or 51.83 Hong Kong dollars a share.

The rights issue was hailed as a success by HSBC group chairman Stephen Green, who said on Sunday he was “confident” the company remained “well-placed” despite the world financial crisis.

HSBC has refused British government financial assistance in contrast to rivals like Royal Bank of Scotland.

It offered investors five new shares at a heavily-discounted price of 254 pence each for every 12 they already own, AFP said.

A statement from HSBC Holdings said there had been “strong support” for its 5 for 12 rights issue announced on March 2, 2009.

The rights issue will strengthen the bank’s capi