Two Chinese acquisition rivals Fosun International and Anbang Insurance have submitted a bid to acquire Portugal bank Novo Banco that is expected to cost around €4 billion (£2.86 billion). Novo Banco was subject to a state rescue last year amidst Portugal’s ailing economy. The state now hopes to sell it to recover the moneys it injected. Despite the presence of other bidders such as Banco Santander, Portugal’s third-largest bank by assets is largely expected to end up in the hands of one of the Chinese acquirers because they have the most financial capacity and support to develop the bank. The Novo Banco deal which is set to be one of the largest financial services acquisition by price paid represents a larger trend of acquisitions in recent years by cash-rich Chinese corporations in Europe which have been plagued by a less than rosy economic outlook.
In the past year, Fosun International took over one of Portugal’s largest insurer Fidelidade and bought stakes in UK travel agency Thomas Cook while Anbang Insurance purchased Belgium life insurer Fidea and Dutch insurer Vivat. Portugal alone has received over €10 billion (£7.16 billion) foreign direct investment from China over the past few years.