The brokerage says the lender is its top Asian bank pick Goldman Sachs has raised its share target price for HSBC Holdings to $121 from $104 amid expectations of improving economic growth in its key markets in Europe, Asia and the Americas and a robust earnings outlook for this year and next. The banking giant, which closed at $102.50 yesterday, already has an 'outperform' rating from the United States investment bank. In the past 12 months the stock has gained 20.9 per cent, compared with a 17.5 per cent rise for the Hang Seng Index. 'HSBC remains our top Asia bank pick [and] we would add to positions now,' Goldman analysts said in a research report. HSBC was expected to post stronger top-line growth across the board, including its two most recent acquisitions - Household International, a loan provider and credit-card services company in the US acquired in March, and Mexican financial services company Grupo Financiero Bital - the analysts said. As a result, Goldman has raised its earnings per share forecasts for this year by 5 per cent to $6.25 and for next year by 11 per cent to $7.56, which translates into 21.2 per cent growth in earnings per share this year and 20.7 per cent next year. According to Goldman's calculations, this makes it 11.5 per cent more bullish about HSBC's earnings next year than the consensus. The benefits of HSBC's global diversification, as well as the bank's ability to pursue and deliver mergers and acquisitions which added to earnings per share, were underpinning the positive view, Goldman said. HSBC's presence in Asia, China, India, Mexico and South America also meant the bank was uniquely positioned for growth. However, prolonged sluggish economic growth in some of its key markets such as the US, Britain and Hong Kong could pose a risk to the positive earnings outlook, the analysts said.