Fosun U-turns and says it could sell share in Portuguese bank BCP

 In Banks, Companies, Divestments, News, Shareholdings

After months of denial saying it wasn’t planning to sell its 20% share in Portuguese bank BCP, Chinese shareholder Fosun now says it cannot rule out selling its share if it cannot sell off other assets.

This is according to Reuters that reported on Monday that the Chinese conglomerate could sell off its remaining share in the bank which also has a considerable presence in Poland.

Some Fosun directors made a stop off in Lisbon last week and evaluating the bank’s position was said to be one of the topics for discussion on the table.

For the time being, the message is that the Chinese mega-company founded in 1992 by entrepreneurs Guo Guangchang Liang Xinjun, Wang Qunbin and Fan Wei, and focuses on two major areas of insurance and asset management, the health sector, and intelligent manufacturing, among others, would like to retain its share in the bank.

However, the company needs to divest, raise capital and reduce debt exposure, and if it can’t sell other assets, it might opt for BCP since it would be easy to sell.

Fosun’s stake in BCP is said to be worth €863 million with overseas banks such as Spain’s BBVA and CaixaBank said to be in a strong position to buy the 20% share if Fosun opts to sell.

However, sources have told Reuters that CaixaBank has little interest in buying the BCP shares from Fosun.

A Fosun spokesperson said: “We remain steadfast in our strategic investment and partnership commitments in Portugal and around the world”.

In January, Fosun sold 5.6% of Portugal’s largest listed bank for €235 million in a private offering to institutional investors arranged by UBS. The Angolan State oil company has a 19.49% share in the bank.

At that time a spokesperson said that it planned to retain its 20% stake but Fosun has a €60Bn debt worldwide.

Fosun is also studying a possible partial IPO of Portuguese insurance company Fidelidade, probably for 2025, a spokesperson for Fidelidade told Reuters.