September 7, 2015 / 4:11 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Portugal's Novo Banco completes BESI sale to China's Haitong

(Updates with Haitong statement, context)

By Axel Bugge

LISBON, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Portugal’s Novo Banco, the so-called good bank carved out of Banco Espirito Santo (BES), has completed the sale of its investment banking arm to China’s Haitong Securities, which said the deal would provide it with a platform for expansion.

Novo Banco, which is itself for sale, agreed in December to sell investment banking unit BESI to Haitong for 379 million euros ($423 million), though China’s recent stock market slide has prompted some concerns that Chinese financial institutions could back off from overseas expansion.

“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 will be renamed as Haitong Bank S.A.

Last week China’s Anbang Insurance Group failed to reach an agreement with Portugal’s central bank on buying Novo Banco, which has now turned to a second Chinese bidder. A source close to the process said the second bid was from China’s Fosun International.

Novo Banco was created after a 4.9 billion euro bailout in August last year. BES, then Portugal’s second-largest bank, collapsed under the weight of its founding family’s debts in the country’s biggest financial failure. ($1 = 0.8957 euros) (Editing by David Goodman)

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