The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Blast-hit HSBC resumes service

London, Nov. 21 (Reuters): Britain’s biggest company, HSBC Holdings Plc, resumed service in Turkey today, and other British firms in the region remained on alert a day after 27 people were killed by truck bombs in Istanbul.

The explosions, outside the British Consulate and offices of HSBC, injured more than 400 people just five days after two Istanbul synagogues were devastated by suicide truck bombs.

“We are fully operational in Turkey today,” said a spokesman for HSBC, which opened its first office in Turkey in 1990 and now has about 160 branches and 3,500 staff in the country.

It has not been revealed how many of its staff were among the dead.

“We have contingency and business recovery plans, and our people in Turkey have done a remarkable job,” the spokesman said, adding HSBC had a building ready in case of emergency, and operations from its damaged head office, where about 400 people worked, have been moved there.

At 1245 GMT, HSBC shares were 1.6 per cent, or 14 pence, higher at 874 pence, reversing yesterday’s 11 pence loss.

British insurer Aviva Plc said it had reopened its branch in Istanbul, which closed yesterday after the bombs. The office was close to HSBC’s bombed head office.

HSBC, which has operations in 12 West Asia countries, said it would go ahead with a presentation of its new five-year plan next week to investors, who may want reassurance about the security of its businesses.

“People will want to hear what they say about some of the high-risk areas they operate in,” said Richard Pierson, who helps manage £5 billion ($8.5 billion) at Framlington Investment Management.

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