HSBC is planning further expansion in China after mainland profits surged more than tenfold to US$334 million last year as pretax earnings from its Hong Kong operations contracted 6.48%, South China Morning Post reported. HSBC has mainland investments in Bank of Communications, Industrial Bank, Ping An Insurance and Bank of Shanghai. Group chief executive Stephen Green said HSBC would continue to expand in the mainland with partners and on its own. With a full spectrum of investments in banks, insurance and fund investment, the market is speculating that HSBC and Bocom, in which HSBC has a 19.9% stake, intend to buy a distressed securities house. "We are interested in the securities business in the mainland but so far no decision has been made," said Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen, HSBC’s Asia-Pacific chairman.