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Expression of confidence


Sir John Bond, who will retire as HSBC Holdings' chairman on Friday, says the London-based bank will continue to perform well under the new leadership.

'HSBC will go forward under the existing team and new leadership, and will continue to thrive and go from strength to strength,' Sir John said yesterday at his final informal annual general meeting with HSBC.

Sir John, who has worked at HSBC for 45 years, will be replaced by group chief executive Stephen Green.

Under Sir John's leadership, HSBC spent US$46 billion on acquisitions worldwide, making it the third-largest bank in the world today. He said the group had no major acquisition plans at the moment and its strong earnings last year showed it grew well organically.

Sir John shrugged off concerns that Hong Kong would be marginalised by growing mainland cities, saying it would have every chance to be one of the leading financial centres in Asia.