Bloomberg News

Portuguese Banks Drop to Lows on Spain, Greece: Lisbon Mover

May 18, 2012

Portuguese banks fell to record lows in Lisbon trading on rising concerns that Greece may leave the 17-nation euro area and after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Spanish banks.

Banco Espirito Santo SA (BES), Portugal’s biggest publicly traded bank, fell as much as 6.4 percent to 45.1 euro cents, a 19-year intraday low. Banco Comercial Portugues SA (BCP) and Banco BPI SA (BPI) lost as much as 3 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively. Both lenders are also trading at record lows.

“The selloff of Portuguese banks is linked to the downgrade in Spain along with increasing fears Greece may leave the euro area,” Pedro Oliveira, a trader at Oporto-based Go Bulling, said by telephone.

Banco Santander SA and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA), Spain’s biggest lenders, were cut three levels by Moody’s Investors Service yesterday, which cited a recession and mounting loan losses in downgrading 16 of the nation’s banks.

The euro fell to a four-month low today after Fitch Ratings downgraded Greece’s long-term credit rating, citing heightened risk that the nation may not be able to sustain membership in the monetary union.

To contact the reporters on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at halmeida5@bloomberg.net; Joao Lima in Lisbon at jlima1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net


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