The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Capital Markets

Chinese buyers descend on Lisbon

It may be a battered economy on the edge of Europe, but Portugal is rapidly becoming the hotspot for Chinese corporate ownership in Europe, particularly in the financial sector. Whether they like it or not, governments and regulators in Lisbon, Brussels and elsewhere will welcome them with open arms.

Chinese buyers descend on Lisbon

Portugal's president Anibal Cavaco Silva (L) and China's premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) attend a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

Chinese buyers of Western banks and corporations are arriving in Europe in force – and many are disembarking first on Portuguese shores.

If regulators approve it, Haitong Securities, China’s second biggest broker, will soon be shaking up capital markets in Lisbon and beyond with the acquisition of BESI, previously the investment-banking arm of Portugal’s biggest listed bank, Banco Espírito Santo. That €379 million deal, announced in December, is just one example.

Now at least two Chinese buyers are bidding for a far larger institution, according to local reports, as the Portuguese government sells Novo Banco, the successor to BESI’s recently defunct former parent. One of the reported Chinese bidders for Novo Banco, Fosun International, last year made what it said was the first Chinese acquisition of a foreign insurance firm, in a €1 billion privatization of Caixa Seguros, the insurance arm of Portugal’s biggest bank by assets.

The focus on Portugal comes as Chinese financial groups are instigating a wider acquisition drive in Europe, most recently in finance.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree