In brief…


• A delegation of Portuguese businessmen led by the Portuguese-South African Chamber of Commerce has visited South Africa to study co-operation possibilities.

• Gas and electricity prices are to rise starting in July because of the increase in the cost of oil.

• Portugal’s airport passenger traffic increased by 9.2 per cent year-on-year to 5.11m passengers between January and April 2004.

• The Portuguese population has the lowest level of schooling on average in the EU.

• A 37-year-old Ukrainian man has plunged to his death at Lisbon airport while trying to escape police who were escorting him on a flight to Kiev.

• A young African man has been found dead in a field near Lisbon. He is believed to have fallen from the undercarriage of an aircraft where he had hidden as a stowaway in an attempt to enter Portugal illegally.

• The Portuguese Football Federation has extended the duration of its contract with Nike to 2008. The financial details of the contract have not been disclosed.

• Six of the 10 stadia built for Euro 2004 cost more than twice their estimate. The stadia in Braga, Leiria, Coimbra, Guimarães, Faro/Loulé and Aveiro cost a total of 290m euros, 107 per cent more than the original estimate.


• Government estimates for the first quarter show negative GDP growth, year-on-year, for the seventh consecutive quarter.

• Portugal’s April 2004 implicit tax rate on new mortgage contracts, signed in the last three months, increased 0.05 percentage points month-on-month to 3.381 per cent.

• Portugal has been selected as the site of a 1bn euros eco-friendly resort covering 5,300 hectares. The project would involve the construction of 6,000 houses and four hotels using mostly recycled materials in the Mata de Sesimbra.

• CTT-Correios de Portugal will drop its postal service prices by more than one per cent on June 1, 2004. Regulators Anacom have imposed the drop.

• The deep-sea container Terminal XXI of the Sines port will be officially opened in June 2004. The first ship to demand the services of Terminal XXI will reportedly be from the fleet of the privately owned Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A., based in Geneva.

• Novis has invested 2m euros in a campaign advertising a new telecommunications service including the possibility to dial free to all fixed lines in Portugal at night and on weekends for 7 euros per month.

• TVTel has launched a new pre-paid broadband Internet service, Jetsonic Livre, which will guarantee 44 per cent lower costs compared to the ones offered by TVTel’s rivals.

• InterContinental Hotels Group said that it had invested a total of 9m euros in its new hotel in Portugal. The new hotel, Express by Holiday Inn Lisbon-Oeiras offers a total of 126 rooms. The hotel has also a business centre, and wireless Internet in public areas and meeting rooms.

• Sana Hotels will invest 57m euros in the construction of two five-star hotels, Torre Vasco da Gama in Lisbon and Royal Falesia in Albufeira.

• The government aims to privatise up to 49 per cent of Águas de Portugal SA by the end of 2005. The company returned to profit last year, with net profit of 2.8m euros. Mota-Engil and Somague – Sociedade Gestora de Participações Sociais SA have shown interest in the privatisation. Águas de Portugal plans to invest some 2.43bn euros in infrastructure projects by 2008 and SIMTEJO, a unit of water company Águas de Portugal, will invest 272m euros in water drainage by 2008.

• UK-Dutch petroleum group Shell is negotiating the sale of its network of 600 petrol stations in Spain and Portugal. Spanish petroleum group Cepsa is favourite to buy the assets, but it is also competing with Galp.