Saturday, September 2, 2017

China's Legend Holdings buys 90% BIL stake

https://www.wort.lu/en/luxembourg/from-qatar-to-china-china-s-legend-holdings-buys-90-bil-stake-59a9650556202b51b13c2898

Published on Friday, 1 September, 2017 at 15:47

Chinese investment group Legend Holdings will buy the 90% stake in Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL) currently owned by the Qatari royal family, Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna confirmed on Friday afternoon.

The value of the Qatari stake in the Luxembourg bank is estimated at around €1.5 billion and the sale deal will be signed on Friday.

Luxembourg state keeps its 10% stake

Although the Chinese group was willing to buy the state's 1o%, Gramegna outlined that the government insisted on keeping its shares to ensure the bank's continuity and give reassurance to the 2000 BIL employees and the public. 

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"It's good for the country and for the bank", Gramegna stated, pointing out that no social plan will be rolled out at the BIL in the next three years.

After three years, the Luxembourg state can sell its shares for a value amounting to €160 million, the sum which the Chinese investors were willing to pay on Friday.

The Chinese acquisition of BIL stakes is still subject to approval by the European Central Bank and the Luxembourg Financial Surveillance Commission. The approval is expected to come through in six to eight months.   

About Legend Holdings

The new acquirer of BIL, Legend Holdings, is a Chinese group that has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since June 2015. 

The company, previously owned by the Chinese state, invests in a number of sectors, including IT services (Lenovo), agribusiness and financial services, but it does not own a bank (it is not a majority shareholder of Hankou Bank).

At the end of 2016, its turnover amounted to 307 billion yuan (€39 billion), while its assets were worth 322 billion yuan.

(Roxana Mironescu, roxana.mironescu@wort.lu, +352 49 93 748)

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