* Chinese conglomerate has expanded overseas
* HNA has targeted financial services
* Qatari investors options would give them similar stake
(Adds stakeholder details, background)
FRANKFURT, May 2 (Reuters) - Chinese conglomerate HNA Group
has become Deutsche Bank's biggest direct
shareholder, upping its stake in the flagship lender of Europe's
top economy to just under 10 percent, according to a U.S.
HNA's buy, which one trader said would lift confidence in
the lender's stock, leaves roughly one fifth of the struggling
bank in the hands of investors who may be pursuing strategic
It comes at a time of heightened uncertainty at the bank, as
it grapples with a strategic turnaround, an uncertain global
economy and the impact of Britain's departure from the European
HNA's stake puts it slightly ahead of Qatari investors.
Funds controlled by Qatar's former Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad
bin Jassim al-Thani last year increased their stake, including
options, to just under 10 percent.
The Chinese group has been on an acquisition spree,
expanding from its traditional business of aviation and
logistics into financial services, betting on asset managers and
consumer finance for growth at home and overseas.
It reflects a broader push by China into financial services
globally as Beijing encourages its corporate sector to expand
overseas, although it faces increased regulatory scrutiny in the
United States and Europe.
Hefty legal penalties including for the sale of toxic U.S.
mortgage debt have hit Deutsche Bank hard and even prompted
speculation last year, denied by the bank, that it needed a
Last month it asked investors to for an 8 billion euro cash
injection, the fourth such request since 2010, putting it on
track to raise more than its entire market value over roughly
HNA last lifted its stake in Deutsche in March to 4.76
percent. A regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission said it had now increased this to 9.9
Fund manager BlackRock owns 6.1 percent.
$1 = 0.9156 euros)
(Writing by John O'Donnell and Emma Thomasson)