He thought HNA viewed an equity stake in the German bank as a way to get an important seat at the table of what he said was the most important financial institution in continental Europe.
Other observers see the conglomerate as being close to the Chinese state. The “blistering pace” of HNA’s acquisitions “couldn’t happen without substantial governmental support, both in terms of bank debt and forex,” said Brock Silvers, managing director of Kaiyuan Capital, a Shanghai-based investment advisory firm. “At what point does the company start to resemble a quasi-sovereign wealth fund?”
HNA ranked number one among Chinese outbound investors so far this year, sealing $5.5bn in deals or about 13 per cent of Chinese overseas deals by value before the latest Deutsche purchase. Last year, it ranked second with 12 per cent, including purchases made through entities it controls, according to Dealogic.
Founded as a two-jet airline based in Hainan Island, the group’s recent acquisitions have turned it into an international financial operator. Holdings include stakes in Old Mutual’s US asset management business, New Zealand’s largest non-bank lender and SkyBridge Capital, the hedge fund platform previously owned by American financier Anthony Scaramucci.
By Courtesy of FT