Saturday, September 2, 2017

World's largest banking country gets foothold into Europe with purchase of Luxembourg bank

On Sept. 2, a Chinese corporation became the first to get a foothold into Europe's commercial banking system by purchasing a 90% stake in Luxembourg's Banque Internationale a Luxembourg (BIL).  This purchase becomes the largest takeover of a European deposit bank, and opens the door for an even greater Western presence by the world's largest banking country.

China's Legend Holdings struck a deal on Friday to buy a 90 percent stake in Banque Internationale a Luxembourg (BIL) for 1.48 billion euros ($1.76 billion) in the biggest takeover of a European deposit-taking bank by a Chinese firm so far. 
Legend, best known as owner of computer group Lenovo Group Ltd, is acquiring 161-year-old BIL from Precision Capital, an investment vehicle of members of Qatar's royal family, including former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani. 
Legend's biggest overseas acquisition is being made through its Hong Kong subsidiary, Beyond Leap Limited, the company said. Reuters first reported in July that Legend was in talks with Precision on a potential acquisition of BIL. 
Chinese companies have become increasingly interested in European banks despite the sector's low profitability. 
In May, China's HNA became the largest direct shareholder in Deutsche Bank, while Fosun holds a 24 pct stake in Portugal's largest listed bank Millennium BCP. - Nikkei Asia


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