Novo Banco’s new owners “to be announced by Christmas”

Chinese or American, the new ‘owners’ of Novo Banco – the so-called phoenix that rose from the ashes of BES – will be known by Christmas, Público has announced.

“Despite various offers” the only ones under Bank of Portugal’s consideration are those by China Minsheng Financial Group and Lone Star – the same private equity firm that last year scooped Vilamoura resort in the Algarve and the bankrupt chain of Dolce Vita supermarkets.

BdP’s acceptance of either one or other offer will come ahead of contract signing, suggests Público – adding that negotiations have been fraught due to the “political instability assailing Europe”.

Fraught too will be the reaction to BdP’s ‘decision’ – bearing in mind that massive financial losses are expected.

When BdP ‘sorted’ BES with a ‘good bank/ bad bank’ carve up back in 2014, it was accepted that the State would have to sell Novo Banco for €4.9 billion if it was to recoup the money ploughed into it.

This has since been shown to be a ‘pie-in-the-sky’ figure which no prospective buyers have taken seriously. Indeed punters are expecting overall losses to be in the region of well over €3.5 billion.

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