CEFC China Energy Company Limited has established a partnership with Portugal’s Associação Mutualista Montepio, owner of the Caixa Económica Montepio Geral group, for the insurance sector, Portuguese weekly Expresso reported.
The agreement is of a commercial nature, but the newspaper also said the entry of the Chinese group into the capital of Montepio’s insurance companies is a matter that would also be addressed.
The mutual association said “no negotiation specifically involving Lusitania,” its main insurer, is underway, according to the weekly.
The newspaper said that the total sale of Montepio’s insurance arm is not an option, but it is part of the strategy of the Chinese group, having already discussed the purchase of a stake in insurers Lusitânia, LusitâniaVida and NSeguros, but not in Futuro, a company of the financial group specialised in the management of pension funds.
The aim of the new partners of Montepio is to secure a controlling stake and the statement from CEFC China Energy Company Limited, in which it announces the agreement with the Montepio group, said that there are “a set of agreements and specific projects to be negotiated.”
Chaired by young businessman Ye Jianming, the CEFC group, with origins in the oil sector, has moved to expand its interests in Europe in the insurance and asset management area.
Recently it made the news due to the acquisition, for US$9 billion, of a 14% stake in the capital of Russian state oil company Rosneft.
Chinese group Fosun has also made sizeable acquisitions abroad, and Portugal is among its preferred investment destinations.
The Fosun group holds close to 85% of Fidelidade, the main Portuguese insurer, which also has operations in Angola (Universal Seguros), Cabo Verde (Garantia) and in Mozambique.
Fosun intends to expand to the Asian and African markets,and its privatisation agreement signed with the government stipulates strengthening its presence in the Chinese market.
Through Fidelidade, Fosun also has a health care network: Luz Saúde.
Fosun’s most recent investment in Portugal was the purchase of a 24% stake in private bank Banco Comercial Português (BCP), becoming the main shareholder in the group that manages the Millennium bcp brand. (macauhub)