Chinese conglomerate HNA Group has stunned global markets by announcing it has quietly moved to raise its stake in one of the world’s largest investment banks, Germany’s Deutsche Bank, from 3% to 10%. Deutsche, of course, has long had considerable operations in Australia, but that is just the tip of the HNA investment iceberg.
It was just the latest move -- many of them surprising, and some, like this one, stunning -- from one of China’s most acquisitive companies offshore. Over the past 10 years HNA Group has shoveled out a whopping US$42.54 billion for assets. Australia, too, has been squarely in its sights, particularly over the past 12 months since it nabbed 13% of Virgin Australia. And there have been multiple property deals, including a proposed $1 billion property trust with Singapore group AEP with nary a peep.