Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Sunday, 5 April 2009 12:20 UK

Strong support for HSBC cash call

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HSBC has fared better than most banks in the past year

HSBC's shareholders have bought 96.6% of the new shares they were offered.

Unlike many of its rivals, HSBC has not received government support, but it still needed some extra funding as a result of the credit crunch.

The $17.7bn (£12.5bn) raised by HSBC makes this the largest rights issue in UK corporate history.

The take-up was not a big surprise because the shares were being offered at 254p each, but were trading on the London Stock Exchange at 435p each.

"We remain confident that HSBC is well-placed in today's environment and that our strength leads to opportunity," said HSBC chairman Stephen Green, suggesting that he might be on the look-out for acquisitions.

The previous biggest rights issue was the £12bn offered by Royal Bank of Scotland in June 2008, 95% of which was taken up.

The take-up of the new shares is in stark contrast to some other rights issues from UK banks in the past year.

HBOS raised £4bn in July 2008, but only 8.3% of the shares were bought by its existing shareholders with the rest going to the underwriters.



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