Three Chinese groups interested in buying Portugal’s Novo Banco
Three of the 17 expressions of interest to buy Portuguese bank Novo Banco are from Chinese groups, a Portuguese newspaper Diario Economico said citing sources in the financial sector.
The paper, which only identified the Fosun International group as an interested party, recalls that the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) have opened branches in Portugal, while Haitong International group acquired Banco Espírito Santo Investment for 379 million euros.
On 28 January the Bank of Portugal selected the parties that qualified for the second phase of the sales process of Novo Banco, with a number of interested parties left-out as they did not meet requirements.
Among the parties that have expressed interest and have passed to the second phase are BPI, Santander and Banco Popular, as well as Fosun International and US fund Apollo, of which the first two have officially confirmed their selection.
The next phase will be to hand in non-binding proposals, which will take place between late February and early March.
The Resolution Fund, whose management is appointed by the Bank of Portugal and the Ministry of Finance, plans to complete the privatization of Novo Banco by the end of the first half of 2015.
Since August last year Novo Banco, which brings together the “healthy” assets of former bank BES, has been 100-percent owned by the Fund, a public body financed by contributions from the banking sector and by Treasury loans.