Geely says won't buy more Daimler shares 'for time being'

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Geely, which already owns Volvo and Lotus, has taken a near 10 per cent stake in Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler through its chairman Li Shufu.

Geely had previously acquired a 49.9 percent controlling stake in Malaysian automaker Proton past year.

The size of the investment leapfrogs a 6.8 percent stake in the Stuttgart-based group held by Kuwait and Renault-Nissan Group's 3.1 percent holding.

Li's stake purchase makes him the top shareholder in Daimler ahead of the Kuwait Investment Authority, which owned 6.8 percent as of September 30, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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Geely considers that there is potential in Daimler due to the fact it its developing internet connections that use high speed for autonomous cars during at a time Li says that the satellite beam may one day become more important overall for the auto industry.

Daimler firmed up plans toward the end of 2017 to break up its rigid conglomerate structure, instead creating a holding company with three separate units: Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans, Daimler Trucks & Buses and the financial-services division.

"Li Shufu is a Chinese entrepreneur Daimler knows well and regards highly in terms of his competency and focus on future developments", Howe said. It issued a statement saying it was pleased with the investment.

Zhejiang Geely Holding has been on an expansion drive. Billionaire Li Shufu, the owner and chairman of the Chinese carmaker, acquired the stake through an investment fund, the filing shows.

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The Chinese group bought Volvo Cars from Ford in 2010, and has since transformed the fortunes of the Swedish carmaker.

Geely Group also owns one of China's largest car-sharing providers, Cao Cao (100%), operating a fleet of around 16,000 electric vehicles worldwide. It sold more than 1 million vehicles previous year.

"Chinese companies understand that leading European firms lean heavily on the People's Republic for sales and profits", said Michael Dunne, president of Dunne Automotive, a Hong Kong-based investment advisory firm focusing on automotive markets in Asia.

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