Thu, Sep 07, 2017 - Page 10 News List

HNA’s bid for large stake Allianz rebuffed: report

Bloomberg

Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co (海航集團) explored buying a significant stake in insurer Allianz SE, but was deflected, German daily the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, without saying where it got the information.

HNA approached Munich-based Allianz to discuss the possibility of becoming an anchor shareholder, potentially even acquiring a majority holding, the newspaper said in a report on its Web site.

Allianz managers rejected the request after conferring with China Investment Corp (中國投資), the sovereign wealth fund that already owns some of its shares, Sueddeutsche said.

Federal authorities in Germany also were wary of letting HNA expand its clout in the nation’s financial sector, the newspaper said.

HNA became Deutsche Bank AG’s largest shareholder this year. An investor buying more than 10 percent of Allianz could have its stability and creditworthiness scrutinized by Germany’s BaFin financial regulator, according to the paper.

Led by Chen Feng (陳峰), HNA has been on a shopping spree, announcing more than US$40 billion in foreign acquisitions since the beginning of last year.

The firm, which has ambitions of becoming a financial-services provider, was said in May to drop out of bidding for HSH Nordbank, a regional bank in Germany.

HNA’s acquisition spree eventually attracted the scrutiny of the Chinese government.

Regulators there have been assessing the risks that the company and other dealmakers might pose to the country’s financial system.

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