Brocker.Org: Chinese Company Takes Main Stake in Deutsche Bank


HNA Group, a Chinese conglomerate that targets U.S. companies for acquisitions, has become Deutsche Bank AG’s (DB) top shareholder.

HNA recently increased its stake in C-Quadrat Asset Management to 9.92 percent to 4.76 percent, making it Deutsche’s largest shareholder with a greater ownership than BlackRock Inc. (BLK) and Qatar’s royal family, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Deutsche said in February that HNA had joined the ranks of major shareholders and that it “welcomed in principle any investor with a long-term view.” (See also: Deutsche Bank Revamps Executive Structure.)

HNA Group has drawn attention for its investments in foreign companies, including taking a 25 percent stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., amid China’s strict capital controls. The company started as an airline operator but has since expanded into tourism, hotels, finance and real estate.

The German bank has had a difficult past year as it grappled with significant regulatory fines that rattled investors. To stabilize itself, Deutsche made job cuts and massive bonus cuts across the board. But Deutsche’s last quarterly earnings report shows it’s finding its footing, although revenue missed the Street’s projections. (See also: Deutsche Bank Execs Bail after Bonus Cuts.)

Deutsche reported first-quarter net income that increased 143 percent year over year to $612.6 million with profit up 52 percent to $935.4 million. Revenue declined 9.9 percent to $7.8 billion.

“Client engagement is strong, asset flows are returning across the bank and activity is picking up,” CEO John Cryan said in a statement. “Our cost-cutting efforts are starting to pay off, while we have reduced complexity significantly.”

Deutsche Bank recently named a new CFO. James von Moltke, Citigroup’s former treasurer, will fill the position in July, succeeding Marcus Schenck, who is overseeing Deutsche’s newly created Corporate & Investment Bank. Von Moltke, a dual citizen of Germany and Australia, also previously worked at JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.

Deutsche bank shares are up 0.9 percent year to date, with shares down 3.6 percent the past year.