HONG KONG : - HSBC Holdings plc has failed to win regulatory approval from the State Bank of Pakistan for the sale of its business in the country, the UK-based lender said. HSBC will now explore alternative options for its banking business in Pakistan, it said in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing on Wednesday. HSBC subsidiary HSBC Bank Middle East Limited had been trying to sell the Pakistan business to JS Bank Limited as part of a global retreat from countries where it lacked scale or struggled to make a profit. The bank had announced in April last year that it was in talks to sell the Pakistan unit, which had just 10 branches.