Feb. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Comercial Portugues SA rose 5.1 percent in Lisbon trading on speculation the planned leadership change at Portugal’s second-biggest bank is prompting investors to exit trades betting on a decline.
Banco Comercial said on Jan. 30 that Chief Executive Officer Carlos Santos Ferreira was stepping aside from his post and would likely be replaced by Nuno Amado, former CEO at the Portuguese unit of Banco Santander SA. Amado’s appointment must still be approved by shareholders.
The shares surged to their highest close since Sept. 30, extending yesterday’s 21 percent increase. They’re up 39 percent since Amado’s appointment was announced. Other banks also rose in Lisbon, with Banco Espirito Santo SA and Banco BPI SA climbing 13 percent and 15 percent respectively.
“Short sellers have been closing their positions in Banco Comercial as a change in leadership may open a new chapter for the bank,” said Jose Novo, a trader at Orey iTrade in Lisbon. “Other banks are benefiting from BCP’s rise.”
In a short sale, investors sell borrowed stock, hoping to profit by buying the shares back later at a lower price.
BCP shares advanced 0.9 euro cents to close at 18.5 cents in Lisbon, and earlier rose as much as 24 percent. About 502 million shares were traded today, more than six times the daily average volume of the past six months.
--Editors: Keith Campbell, Dylan Griffiths
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