UPDATE 4-HSBC sells up in Brazil as profits jump on Hong Kong boom
* HSBC to sell Brazil arm to Bradesco for $5.2 bln
* Hong Kong investors' China buying fuels profits
* CEO: "nothing alarming" in China
* Sets aside $1.3 bln to cover forex probes
* London shares up 0.4 pct (Adds CEO comments, details)
By Lawrence White and Steve Slater
HONG KONG/LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings beat expectations with a 10 percent rise in first-half profit thanks to a strong performance in Hong Kong and has agreed a $5.2 billion sale of its business in Brazil.
Europe's biggest bank by market value is to sell the unprofitable Brazilian operations to Banco Bradesco SA , Brazil's second-biggest private-sector bank, for a higher than expected 17.6 billion reais ($5.2 billion).
The sale is part of a plan by Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver to shed underperforming business and reduce costs, including almost 50,000 job cuts, to try to improve returns. Gulliver said HSBC was likely to keep its bank in Britain because of its strong prospects. Continuación...