The share price of British bank HSBC Holdings PLC dropped to a 25-year low this week in the fallout from a report accusing it of involvement in suspicious transactions. It is also battling the economic effects of the coronavirus and political tensions between the U.S. and China.
Its shares were last trading in Hong Kong at HK$28.75 ($3.71) - slightly up on its opening price Tuesday of HK$28.50. The stock fell to HK$29.40 at Monday's close from HK$30.25 at the beginning of the day.
"It isn't good," Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp., told CNBC. "Fear of the unknown is what triggers investors to cut and run."
The shares are changing hands at their cheapest since 1995. Since the start of the year HSBC shares have fallen by more than 51%. The company's London-listed shares have been heavily sold, too.
The most recent selling in the bank's shares follows news reports it may be included on China's "Unreliable Entity List." According to the country's Ministry of Commerce, companies placed on the list will face limits on their investment and staff in China. While the ministry has yet to detail the businesses it plans to add to the list, sources with knowledge in the matter have said HSBC may be a primary candidate.
Market participants have grown increasingly concerned about the reports - particularly as HSBC relies heavily on its business in China and Asia for its continued growth.
HSBC was included in a list of banks in a report published early this week by the Washington, D.C.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and news website BuzzFeed. The report alleges many banks continued to profit from illegal and suspicious transactions in and out of China and the U.S. even as these transactions were restricted.
BuzzFeed said it had investigated more than 2,100 suspicious activity reports compiled by the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network - or Fincen - to support its claims, according to a CNN report. BuzzFeed shared the documents with Journalists Consortium -- which published the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers.
HSBC said in a statement it would "not comment on suspicious activity reporting."
HSBC faces trouble at home as Britain prepares to go into a second lockdown to counteract the rise of new coronavirus cases. The bank previously said it was ratcheting up loan loss provisions in the UK to cover an increasing number of pandemic-related loan defaults.
HSBC was recently criticized by market participants after it decided to cancel its 2019 dividend to secure liquidity. This angered many shareholders in Hong Kong - most of whom bought the stock as a dividend play.