HSBC may buy a majority stake in one of China’s big three lenders to increase its presence in the mainland, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources quoted in a British Sunday newspaper. HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, is understood to be looking to buy shares in either ICBC, Bank of China or China Construction Bank, although it will have to wait until China relaxes current laws limiting foreign banks’ stake in local lenders to 20%. The deal is also likely to involve HSBC selling its holding in China’s Bank of Communications. HSBC’s global head of strategy, Antonio Simoes, is understood to have followed chief executive Mike Geoghegan to Hong Kong from London to help prepare for a possible bid. HSBC declined to comment.