As the intrigue surrounding the Espírito Santo banking empire is minutely investigated, GNR officers are reported to be in panic over pensions invested in ESAF – Espírito Santo Fundos de Pensões, S.A.
According to news reports, ANAG – the national association of GNR ‘guardas’ – wants to retrieve its investments and, at the very least, move them elsewhere. But the agreement made between the GNR’s social services and ESAF makes this very difficult.
Officers are only entitled to remove their pensions after the age of 55, if they have been invalided out of the service or are gravely ill, or if they have taken earlier retirement and died.
ANAG told newspapers this week that their members are panicking – particularly as whatever they manage to swing, they will almost certainly lose a percentage of their investments on any fund transfers.
BES shares plummet by 42% in just one day
Meantime, the trials and tribulations of the Espírito Santo web of companies continue. As what is termed a “forensic audit” takes place at BES, the bank’s share price fell a massive 42% on Thursday – the most any share price on the Portuguese stock market is reported to have fallen in just one day.
In a bid to reduce further damage to the stricken business empire, securities regulator CMVM has now prohibited the sale of any more BES shares on the open market for the next two days.
Meantime, investigators are reported to have been given two weeks to get to the bottom of the banking scandal that involves losses for the first half of this year alone of €3.6 billion.
According to daily tabloid Correio da Manhã, “diverse underhand operations” have been detected, implicating former bank boss Ricardo Espírito Santo Salgado and his financial administrator Amílcar Morais Pires.
Both men are believed to have nodded through investments that failed to pass under the noses of other key players in the organisation – some of which involved “millions of euros” passing to societies owned by the Espírito Santo family.
As the full extent of the scandal slowly emerges – with three BES administrators also being removed from their posts – financial analysts are predicting recapitalisation of the bank “could come to €4 billion”.
Where exactly that money will come from though remains to be seen.