French insurer AXA and Australia's QBE Insurance have signed an agreement to acquire HSBC’s insurance businesses for a combined upfront payment of $914m.

As per the agreement, Axa which is investing $494m, will acquire HSBC’s P&C businesses in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico and also has a 10-year deal to sell its car and home policies through HSBC branches in those markets in addition to China, India and Indonesia.

The agreement will facilitate QBE, which is investing $420m, to acquire HSBC’s Argentina businesses and the Hong Kong business of Hang Seng Bank which is the subsidiary of HSBC.

The Australian company is also offered with a 10-year distribution deal with HSBC in Argentina and with Hang Seng in Hong Kong and mainland China.

QBE Global Underwriting Operations CEO John Neal said the acquisition of the HSBC business in Argentina opens up an alternative distribution channel, complementary to the company’s existing focus on workers’ compensation business.

"The acquisition of the Hang Seng general insurance business in Hong Kong will provide increased penetration into the local market as well as opportunities for further growth," Neal said.

AXA chairman and CEO Henri de Castries said that the company has been a Preferred Strategic Partner for HSBC for some years and this agreement strengthens its relationship still further.

"Providing a combination of strong growth perspectives and high levels of profitability, this transaction marks another milestone in our strategy of accelerating profitable growth in Asia and Latin America, where our footprint in Property & Casualty will be significantly expanded," de Castries said.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2012.