Republic New York Corp has delayed for a second time a shareholder vote on its proposed US$10.3 billion takeover by HSBC Holdings as investigations continue into a client's alleged billion dollar fraud. The latest delay clouds the future of the British bank's boldest move into the United States retail banking market and comes a month after talks to take over South Korea's SeoulBank collapsed. The Republic New York shareholder vote had been scheduled for October 12 after being postponed from September 9. The vote is now expected to take place on October 29. Republic said the delay would allow it to 'add information about the probe to the statement it sends to shareholders about the takeover'. But the bank warned the vote might again be delayed 'if necessary'. HSBC has already said it would not make a decision about its bid for Luxembourg-based Safra Republic Holdings and Republic New York until all investigations had been completed. HSBC has come under increasing pressure to clarify its stalled bid for Republic, with institutional investors becoming increasingly restless in the absence of a statement about whether it intended to renegotiate or go ahead with the acquisition on existing terms. A federal grand jury yesterday indicted investment adviser Martin Armstrong, the founder and chairman of Princeton Economics International, for allegedly defrauding Japanese corporate investors of almost US$1 billion with the help of a Republic executive. Bonds issued by the New Jersey-based forecasting and derivatives trading firm Princeton were sold through its Tokyo affiliate Cresvale International to Japanese clients. A securities unit of banking holding company Republic has come under US regulatory scrutiny because of its dealings with Cresvale International and another Princeton affiliate. On Thursday Cresvale Far East, a holding company for the worldwide operations of US securities firm Cresvale Group, said its directors had resolved to put the firm into provisional liquidation. The company said it made the decision in light of the problems affecting its parent company. It did not elaborate. Earlier this month, Japan's watchdog Financial Supervisory Agency said it had suspended Cresvale International from some bond sales for six months. The group's SAR subsidiary Cresvale Hong Kong voluntarily suspended trading on September 14 and the move would allow the provisional liquidators from PricewaterhouseCoopers to seek offers for the Cresvale Group's operations. 'We have been approached by a number of interested parties over the last few days and we are looking forward to resuming business with a new shareholder,' Hong Kong operations managing director Carmela Lau said. The acquisition of Republic would be HSBC's biggest takeover and a significant step towards achieving the status of a global financial services group. The move was also expected to bolster the bank's standing among US investors at the time of its Wall Street listing last July. The deal would double HSBC's private banking business, adding 30,000 clients with funds of US$436 billion. HSBC shares closed at HK$89 on Thursday, down 8.24 per cent from HK$97 on September 9.