China’s biggest state-owned lender is considering launching a €2 billion (£1.65 billion) bid for Pioneer.
According to the Sunday Times, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is looking to capture a European asset manager.
The paper claims ICBC had considering mounting a bid for Phoenix-owner Ignis, which was sold to Standard Life Investments last week.
Pioneer is owned by Italian bank Unicredit and is one of Europe’s largest fund managers with €174 billion in funds under management.
Unicredit is under pressure to shore up its balance sheet after recently posting a record €14 billion loss. However, the bank at the time stressed Pioneer remains a core part of its business.