Bloomberg News

Banco Portugues de Negocios Restructuring Faces Probe by EU

October 24, 2011

(Updates with response from finance ministry in last paragraph.)

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The European Commission opened an in-depth review of Banco Portugues de Negocios SA to check if the proposed restructuring of the lender that was nationalized in 2008 complies with state-aid rules.

“The in-depth review will allow the commission to gather all the information it needs and ensure that the aid granted to the bank is limited to the strict minimum needed, in the interest of fair competition and of Portuguese taxpayers,” Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s antitrust commissioner, said in an e- mailed statement from Brussels today.

The Portuguese government said in July it picked Banco BIC Portugues SA for exclusive talks on the planned sale of BPN. The commission said it needs information to be able to assess whether BPN “will be a viable entity after its integration with its future purchaser.”

The finance ministry in Lisbon declined to comment on today’s announcement from the commission.

--With assistance from Henrique Almeida in Lisbon. Editor: Christopher Scinta

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Chapman at pchapman10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Scinta at cscinta@bloomberg.net.


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