PT balance healthy in spite of crisis.jpg

PT balance healthy in spite of crisis

THE PRESIDENT of Portugal Telecom said on Tuesday that the company had a healthy balance and could count on funds in the region of 2.3 billion euros.

Addressing members of the British-Portuguese and French Chambers of Commerce, Zeinal Bava did warn that the markets continued to be volatile and without a defined course.

The Executive President of the company, who was voted Best CEO in Europe in the Telecoms Sector for three consecutive years, said that the 2.3 billion euros of available funds from credit lines and commercial paper was “comfortable liquidity” to face the world financial crisis.

The investment banker and manager said at the BPCC organized event in Lisbon that it was necessary “to wait and see” what would be the real impact of European and Portuguese central bank measures on calming the financial markets and providing liquidity for the beleaguered banking sector.

“It is important to let both regulators and governments do their work and let the dust settle,” he told the 200-strong group of leading Portuguese and foreign businessmen.

Zeinal Bava also added the opinion that it was “still uncertain what the real impact of the economic crisis on the economy in diverse sectors, its dimension and conclusion” would be.

“We would like to see the domestic market continue in its restructuring work that it has been doing up until now. In the third quarter we are continuing to see good results: we are leaders in the broadband internet market and we will continue to be focused on growth and innovation,” he said.

On the question of PT’s 5.8 billion euro debt, Zeinal Bava said PT would only have to refinance one billion euros in April 2009.

“We have 1.5 billion euros in standby facilities and 800 million euros in commercial paper, so we are in a comfortable position,” he said.

“We will honour all of our obligations and shareholders and continue to invest in our businesses,” he added.

In July this year PT concluded a share purchase programme of its own shares to the tune of 1.2 billion euros as part of a 6.2 billion euro remuneration package for its shareholders for 2006-2009.

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