For sale: One Portuguese bank—some solvency issues, fixer-upper opportunity

August 1, 2014

this is a test of this blog


A piece of Banco Espírito Santo, Portugal’s largest listed bank, can be yours for the low, low price of just 20 euro cents per share (or best offer). That’s 80% off the price at the start of the year.

Price drop!

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New and improved!

Now under new management, the bank is putting past unpleasantness behind it. Yes, it just reported a €3.6 billion ($4.8 billion) loss in the first half of the year, the largest in Portuguese corporate history. Yes, the loss destroyed the bank’s capital buffer, “jeopardizing the compliance with the minimum solvency ratios,” according to the central bank. Yes, there are problems at the bank’s Angolan unit and possible fraud by former managers, including unvetted letters of credit kept away from the bank’s normal accounting system and only recently discovered by the new regime.

But a new supervisory committee comprised of PricewaterhouseCoopers professionals is now keeping a…

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