Portugal’s Novo Banco completes BESI sale to China’s Haitong

Portugal’s Novo Banco completed on Monday the sale of its investment banking arm – Banco Espírito Santo de Investimento (BESI) – to China’s Haitong Group. The latter said the deal would provide it with a platform for expansion.

Novo Banco agreed in December to sell its investment banking unit BESI to Haitong for 379 million euros (US$423 million).

“The acquisition will provide Haitong Securities with a platform to develop its global expansion plans, both in the developed markets of Europe and in the emerging markets of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe and India,” Haitong said, adding that BESI would be renamed as Haitong Bank SA.

Novo Banco, which is itself for sale, is the successor to Banco Espírito Santo, which nearly collapsed last year and had to be bailed out with 4.9 billion euros by the Portuguese Government.