HNA plans to sell Deutsche Bank stake: WSJ

A HNA Group logo is seen on the building of HNA Plaza in Beijing, China February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate HNA plans to sell its 7.6 percent stake in German lender Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE6 over the next 18 months, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday.

The stake is worth around 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) at current market prices.

The WSJ, citing people familiar with the matter, said HNA intended to unload the vast majority of overseas investments it has made in recent years.

The aviation-to-financial services group is selling assets to reduce massive debts built during an acquisition spree. It was rocked in July by the sudden death of its co-chairman, Wang Jian, during a business trip.

Spokesmen for Deutsche Bank and HNA in Frankfurt declined to comment. UBS, which is HNA’s bank for the holding, also declined to comment.

Shares in Deutsche Bank were down 0.6 percent at 0834 GMT.

HNA’s stake in Deutsche has declined slightly over the course of this year. It was previously just under 10 percent.

The report said HNA would also dispose of other holdings, including Swissport IPO-SWPO.S, a company that provides airport services. Swissport declined to comment.

Reporting by Tom Sims and Andreas Framke; Additional reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Michael Shields in Zurich; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter