Portugals leading financial group increases investment in Saxo Bank

Copenhagen and Lisbon - Banco Espirito Santo Group and Saxo Bank expand mutual partnership.

Saxo Bank, the online trading and investment specialist, has announced that Espirito Santo Financial Group S.A ("ESFG"), the financial services holding company, has increased its share holding in Saxo Bank from 2.5 to 5 per cent. In aggregate, ESFG will hold close to 10 per cent of the share capital of Saxo Bank together with its subsidiary Banco Espirito Santo Group ("BES Group"), Portugal's largest private bank. Simultaneously, Saxo Bank will acquire 25 percent of the share capital of Banco Best, the online subsidiary of ESFG and BES Group.
 
The transactions follow an initial agreement reached by ESFG and BES Group and Saxo Bank in January 2008. The top executives of ESFG and Saxo Bank say the expanded partnership will add value and open new opportunities for  Banco Best’s and Saxo Bank’s clients and partners around the world.
In a joint statement, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, co-founders and CEOs of Saxo Bank, emphasized the strategic significance of the completed investment: “We are very happy that ESFG and BES Group have increased their investment and commitment to Saxo Bank. Not least during the past year, Saxo Bank’s business model has proven its viability in a very challenging environment. This agreement allows us to further build on past successes.”
ESFG has also agreed to sell shares to Saxo Bank representing 25 percent of the capital of Banco Best, of which BES Group is a majority share-holder. Banco Best is also a white label partner of Saxo Bank and is ranked the best consumer online bank in Portugal.
Saxo Bank and Banco Best have reached an agreement that will make subsystems of Banco Best's online platform of products and services available to Saxo Bank.
Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen added: “The 25 per cent stake of Portugal’s leading online bank illustrates Saxo Bank’s commitment to extending our products and services. Banco Best’s business model offers a wide range of competitive advantages with independent saving and investment solutions, selected from the most important asset management players worldwide. Our combined knowledge and expertise will enable us to expand and consolidate our undertakings especially in asset management.”
 
Completion of the transactions is subject to regulatory approvals.

About ESFG
ESFG is a fully integrated financial services holding company with investments in sound financial institutions. It has a leading position in the banking and insurance markets in Portugal and, through its principal banking subsidiary Banco Espírito Santo Group (“BES Group”) as well as other banking operations in Switzerland, France and the UAE, has a broad geographic reach. ESFG’s international presence aims to support Portuguese firms and individuals abroad by covering the countries with cultural affinities with Portugal.
The components of BES Group are principally Banco Espírito Santo (“BES”), the second largest publically quoted commercial bank in Portugal, and the largest publically quoted Portuguese bank by market capitalisation. It and its subsidiaries, namely BES Investment, a major Iberian investment bank, operate in Portugal, Spain, Angola and Brazil and ESAF-Espírito Santo Activos Financeiros, a major fund management company. In aggregate BES Group is estimated to have held an average market share of 20.7% in Portugal in December 2008. Internationally BES Group is present in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde Islands, China, Spain and the USA through small operational subsidiaries. ESFG has further banking and private banking interests in Switzerland through Banque Privée Espírito Santo, in France though Banque Espírito Santo et de la Vénétie and in Dubai through ES Bankers (Dubai).​