Mumbai: The country’s second largest foreign lender HSBC on Sunday said it is “cautiously optimistic" about its future growth prospects in the country in the wake of the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone economies and a possible slow growth of the domestic economy.

“We expect it (global economy) to quite a bit unsafely over the next six months, until the resolution of the European problem. We will be certainly worried about that. But, we are confident about India’s long-term growth story. We will continue to invest here. In short, I can say, we will be cautiously optimistic," HSBC India chief executive Stuart A Davis told PTI.

Stuart A. Davis, CEO, HSBC India. Ashesh Shah/Mint

It can be noted that the British lender is yet to secure the Reserve Bank go-ahead for its proposal to buy out RBS India’s retail assets and commercial businesses.

HSBC had agreed to acquire the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Group’s retail and commercial banking businesses here in Julyth 2010 involving portfolios with a gross asset value of $1.8 billion as estimated by the end of FY10.

HSBC had also acquired IL&FS InvestSmart in 2008, which is now HSBC InvestDirect, with over 1,30,000 customers with outlets across 52 cities.

Referring to operation of foreign banks in the country, Davis said, the regulator is quite clear about the requirement for financial inclusion and priority sector lending and banks are complying to these guidelines.

HSBC has a presence in 88 countries and is slowly scaling up its operation here, which is the seventh largest contributor to the British lender’s global turnover.

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