Corporate Financier’s Notes by Aivars Jurcans
Done! And Done
StoneCo, a Brazilian payments company backed by US investors such as Berkshire Hathaway, has agreed to buy a stake of up to 4.99% in Banco Inter, a Brazilian online bank, for USD 471 million.
Unipol, an Italian financial group, has raised its stake in Banca Popolare di Sondrio, an Italian cooperative lender, from 2.9% to 7%.
Goldman Sachs has won initial approval from Chinese regulatory authorities for a wealth management JV with ICBC, a China’s bank. Goldman Sachs Asset Management will hold a 51% stake in the venture.
Sampo has sold 4% of shares in Nordea, a Nordic lender, to institutional investors for EUR 1.4 billion, reducing its holding to 11.9%. Sampo is said to offload all its shares in the bank within 12 months of its stake dropping below 10%.
Deals On The Table
Nexi, an Italian payments group, is said to be in talks with Alpha Bank, a Greek lender, to take a stake in its retailers payment business. The business processed around EUR 9 billion in volumes in 2018 of which around 68% was linked to domestic card transactions.
SIA, a payments firm, is said to be “in discussions” to buy Cardlink, a Greek payment network firm.
Aigis Banca, a Milan-based Italian specialist lender to small and medium-sized businesses, was ordered into liquidation by the Bank of Italy, with its assets and liabilities transferred to Banca Ifis, a rival, for a symbolic price of EUR 1. Aigis Banca has collapsed because of exposure to Greensill Capital and GFG Alliance.
Chia Network, a blockchain and digital currency platform founded by Bram Cohen (creator of BitTorrent) has raised USD 61 million from investors at a valuation of about USD 500 million.
Trade Republic Bank, a Berlin-based broker app, finished a USD 900 million financing round that valued it at more than USD 5 billion. Established in 2015, Trade Republic lets customers trade stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies and other financial products.
Goldman Sachs global investment research arm estimates that investable assets by Chinese households will exceed USD 70 trillion by 2030.
The KBW Regional Banking index has climbed 37% year-to-date compared with a 13% increase on the S&P 500, after trailing the broader market for the previous 2 years.
A Thought Worth Noting
“Fintechs don’t want to get bought by banks, because that is death. It is death to your innovation. It is death to your growth.”
Brian Hamilton, chief executive, One Financial (a digital bank)
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