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Infrastructure boss named new president of Novo Banco

Infrastructure boss António Ramalho will take over as the new president of ‘good bank’ Novo Banco on August 1, the Bank of Portugal (BP) has confirmed.

The news comes at a time when the BP is supposedly analysing four offers for the purchase of Novo Banco. The bidders have not yet been revealed, and according to Expresso newspaper none of the offers are from two of Portugal’s largest banking groups, Santander and BCP.

Until Ramalho takes over, current president Eduardo Stock da Cunha will remain in power to ensure the transition process allows the bank to “continue pursuing its goals”, BP said in a statement on Tuesday (July 12).

It had already been reported in May that Stock da Cunha would be returning to his ‘proper job’ at Lloyds of London (click here), but who would replace him was still unknown.

António Ramalho, still the president of Portugal’s infrastructure authority Infraestruturas de Portugal, will be the man that will try to guide Novo Banco through its complicated sale process.

In a recent interview with SIC Notícias, Stock da Cunha said that it would be “hard” to sell Novo Banco for “very high sums”.

“When the second largest Portuguese bank (BCP) is worth just over one billion euros in the stock market, you cannot expect a very high sum for Novo Banco. We have to be a bit realistic,” he said.

The headache will now belong to Ramalho, who was president of the administration board of credit company Unicre between 2006 and 2010. He was also a member of the executive board of BCP (2010-2012) and named president of IP in 2015.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com