The Strategist

Chinese automaker buys 30% of Saxo Bank

05/08/2017 - 06:17

Zhejiang Geely, a Chinese automaker owning Swedish Volvo, is buying about 30% of Danish Saxo Bank, the Financial Times reported.

The deal will be carried out with participation of the co-founder and former CEO of Saxo Bank, Lars Seier Christensen, who is selling his share of 25.7%, as well as with some other smaller investors.

As a result of the transaction, Geely will become the bank’s largest shareholder, ahead of the US private equity fund TPG Capital, which has 29%, and the organization’s Chief Executive Kim Fournais with 26% of the shares.

"We are looking forward to working with Saxo Bank in this transaction to expand activities of Geely Group in the financial services sector", said Geely’s Financial Director Li Dong Hui.

"I am sure that partnership with Geely creates an even stronger foundation for using many global opportunities, not least in the growing markets of China and Asia", Kim Fournais said.

Saxo Bank A/S was founded in 1992 by Lars Christensen and Kim Fournais. They own 25.71% of the bank's shares, and investment company TPG Capital owns 29.26% of the shares. The remaining shares are distributed among minority shareholders, including Gold Shine Investment (9.9%) and a number of current and former employees of the bank. 

The group's operating income in 2016 was DKK 2.9 billion, compared to $ 2.1 billion in 2015. By the end of 2016, size of the provision of customer deposits reached new record highs, having increased by almost 15 billion to DKK 92.3 billion, which is a sign of confidence in the bank. Net profit in 2016 was DKK 302 million compared to a net loss of DKK 645 million in 2015.

"We are satisfied with the result for 2016 ... We intend to develop business in 2017 as well. Our investments in technologies and new products in 2016 complement existing offers and allow us to master new market segments. In particular, this applies to the first fully digital solution in the bond market and SaxoSelect, our digital and automated investment service focused on customers that aspire independent participation in global financial markets", said Kim Fournais.