HSBC Asset Management is planning a major expansion of its presence in the hedge fund business, according to a report in the Financial Times today. In an interview with the newspaper, HSBC Asset Management CEO Alain Dromer explained that HSBC Alternative Investments is now awaiting approval by the Financial Services Authority. The new operation is part of a broader strategy to triple funds under management from $138 billion today to $400 billion by 2007, by capitalising on the international network and distribution strength of the bank. Target markets include China and Taiwan in Asia, and in Europe Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Scandinavia and especially Germany. HSBC Asset Management already runs three hedge funds, and runs a larger hedge fund of funds business via HSBC Republic.