Thu, May 04, 2017 - Page 10 News List

HNA Group hikes Deutsche Bank stake to near 10%

BACK IN BUSINESS:Deutsche Bank’s CEO is focusing on returning the lender to growth after dealing with legal probes and misconduct charges


HNA Group Co (海航集團), the Chinese aviation-to-hotels conglomerate, increased its stake in Deutsche Bank AG to almost 10 percent, overtaking BlackRock Inc as the top shareholder in Europe’s largest investment bank.

HNA’s holding in Germany’s biggest bank increased to 9.92 percent, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday by investment entities acting on HNA’s behalf.

The conglomerate initially reported a 3 percent stake in Deutsche Bank in February, saying at the time that it might increase its holding, while intending to remain below 10 percent.

It disclosed a stake of almost 4.8 percent in March.

Deutsche Bank chief executive officer John Cryan is focusing his attention on returning the lender to growth after grappling with losses resulting from legal probes and misconduct charges. Last month, the bank sold 8 billion euros (US$8.73 billion) of new shares to bolster capital after abandoning an earlier plan to sell its Postbank unit.

HNA’s voting rights in Deutsche Bank are formally held by a vehicle structured by Austrian asset manager C-Quadrat Investment AG.

C-Quadrat chief executive officer Alexander Schuetz has been nominated to join the bank’s supervisory board after a confirmation vote of the bank’s annual general meeting on May 18.

Spokespeople for Deutsche Bank and C-Quadrat declined to comment.

HNA’s holding surpasses BlackRock’s 5.9 percent investment, which had been the largest stake in Deutsche Bank, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Chinese conglomerate has spent US$30 billion on deals over the past year.

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