UK's HSBC Holdings has geared up to dispose its Vietnamese insurance business with an anticipated price of $400m, as part of its strategy to exit non-core operations worlwide.

A source close to the potential deal told Reuters that HSBC was in talks with Japanese Sumitomo Life over the sale of its 18% stake in the government-controlled Baoviet Holdings.

"A few suitors looked at it, though the minority stake makes it less attractive to some," the source added.

With a current market value of $250m, the 18% stake in the Vietnam unit was purchased by HSBC for $360m in two tranches in 2007 and 2009 and had options to increase its share to 25%.

The stake is expected to fetch a handsome premium for the bank due to Baoviet’s strong market position and plans to increase the level of ownership at a later stage.

Most recently, the firm sold its global general insurance business to AXA and Australia’s QBE Insurance for $914m and has already offloaded 28 businesses units, including banking and insurance, slashed 15,000 employees and disposed nearly $55bn risk-weighted assets.

HSBC is following a three-year recovery plan to return to profitability track and is abandoning unprofitable markets and businesses across the globe.

In Asian pacific region, HSBC trades underwriting businesses including India, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, China, Singapore and Hong Kong, of which, Hong Kong is its largest operation.