China’s Fosun has vowed to keep supporting the development of Portugal’s Millennium bcp, despite having reduced its stake in the lender.
Fosun sold 5.6% of Portugal’s largest listed bank for EUR 235.2 million in a private offering for institutional investors, reducing its stake to just over 20%.
A Millennium bcp spokesperson quoted by Reuters said Fosun had informed the bank that it “intends to maintain a stake above 20% while remaining a reference shareholder of the bank”.
Fosun, which aims to boost its working capital amid what analysts see as debt pressure, said its holding in BCP had been cut from 29.95% to 25.63% via share sales between Nov. 13 and Jan. 9.
Fosun remains the largest single shareholder in BCP, closely followed by Angolan state oil company Sonangol with 19.49%.
A Fosun spokesman said the sale was “normal investment behaviour… and should not be interpreted as a sign that Fosun is no longer optimistic about the Portuguese market under any circumstances”.
“The Fosun Group will continue to support the development of Millennium bcp,” he added, explaining that the sale took into account “the strong rise in the share price of Portuguese banks and Millennium bcp in recent period”.
Fosun also owns 85% of Portugal’s largest insurance firm Fidelidade, which in turn owns the country’s leading private healthcare group Luz Saude.
“Fosun’s investments in Portugal, like Fidelidade, will continue to be very important components for the group,” its spokesman said, adding that the sale was unrelated to any debt or cash flow pressure after improvements recorded on both fronts in recent years.