HSBC is said to have its eyes on fellow British giant Aviva, which is currently assessing the future of its Asian unit.
People familiar with the matter say the bank is looking at ways to diversify its business in the region, Bloomberg reports. Plans are currently being drawn up for an offer for at least part of Aviva's Asian business, but are in early stages, the news agency writes, as other potential suitors are also lining up bids.
"I am working with the board to refresh Aviva's strategy and we have decided to review the strategic options for our Asian businesses," Aviva's chief executive Maurice Tulloch said earlier this month.
"Aviva's businesses in Asia have excellent growth and earnings potential and we are considering a range of options to help these businesses reach their potential."
The company's operations in the region could be valued at about $3bn to $4bn, with an official process slated to kick off later this year, Bloomberg News reported earlier.
In the first half, HSBC saw revenue in Asia rise 7%. Aviva, meanwhile, reported a general insurance combined operating ratio of 111.2% for the "Asia & Other" market in the same six-month period.