Minister of Transport to lead the sale of Novo Banco

Sérgio Monteiro – the government minister behind the trouble-torn TAP privatisation – is being moved from his post to oversee the sale of Novo Banco, Público reveals today.

Monteiro – who had the unenviable task last month of releasing TAP’s losses so far this year (€109.6 million), saying the need for privatisation had never been more urgent – is to be integrated into the Bank of Portugal’s Resolution Fund, which is in much the same position over the pending sale of Novo Banco.

The central bank has told Público that the “complexity and challenges associated with the sale process” require someone in charge of “recognised merit and elevated experience in operations of this nature”.

Monteiro will thus be “assuming the responsibility of PMO (Project Management Office) of the project and be hired by the Resolution Fund in articulation with the Association of Portuguese Banks”.

As Público explains, Monteiro has been at the front of some of the most controversial and high-profile dossiers of the coalition government, not simply the (so far non-) privatisation of TAP, but the concession of public transports as well.
Portuguese media explained last week that a future government led by PS Socialist leader António Costa has already vowed to overturn these deals.

Meantime, Novo Banco should have been sold months ago but negotiations with shortlisted companies Anbang, Fosun and Apollo all fell through in an embarrassment that the Bank of Portugal has deftly sought to sweep under the carpet.

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