Chinese group Fosun is the largest shareholder of Portuguese bank BCP

21 November 2016

Chinese group Fosun has become the largest shareholder of Portuguese private bank Banco Comercial Portuguese (BCP) after paying 174.6 million euros in a reserved share issue, which means it now holds 16.7% of the bank’s share capital, according to market statements.

“Under the signed agreement, Chiado [one of the Chinese group’s companies] agreed to subscribe 157,437,395 shares at a price of 1.1089 euros per share to be issued by BCP through a placement reserved for Chiado, equivalent to about 16.67% of the share capital of BCP (…) the total amount of the transaction is 174, 582, 27.32 euros,” the company said in a statement on its website.

Until Friday, Angolan oil company Sonangol was the largest shareholder of BCP, with 17.84%, but the fact that the newly issued shares have been reserved for the Chinese group reduced the Angolan state company’s stake to between 15% and 16%.

However, the Angolan oil company has announced that it has requested authorisation from the European Central Bank to strengthen its position in the Portuguese bank.

The deal announced on Friday is the first step in a process that may ultimately consolidate the Fosun group as the largest shareholder of BCP, under a memorandum of understanding signed on 18 November.

The memorandum provides for the entry of two executive directors, one of which will be vice president of the executive committee, and establishes that the Fosun group aims to hold a 23% stake in BCP in the short term, and will have the right to nominate three non-executive directors.

This increase requires, in addition to the authorisation of the European Central Bank, a change to the bank’s statutes limiting voting rights to 20%, which is expected to be discussed at a general meeting postponed to 19 December.

In addition to the Chinese group and Sonangol, the main remaining shareholders of BCP were, as at 30 June 2016, Banco Sabadell with 5.07%, Portuguese power company EDPwith 2.56% and the Interoceanico group with 2.05%.

In Portugal Fosun Industrial Holdings Limited controls in the Fidelidade insurance company and the Luz healthcare group. (macauhub)