Financial Times says confidence increasing in Portugal

22 March 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 22 March – British financial daily, the Financial Times (FT) reported Tuesday that confidence rates are increasing in Portugal, which can be proven by opinion surveys and by the mergence of large business deals.

In a special report on Portugal the FT said that after the, “profound pessimism of the last three years of economic stagnation and political instability, the country’s mood, reflected in opinion surveys and the mergence of large business deals, is beginning to lift.”

“Despite slow growth – of less than 1 percent per year – increased unemployment and (Prime Minister) Sócrates warning that ‘the worst is yet to come’, there is an overriding feeling that reforms, though painful, are finally being carried through,” the report added.

According to the FT, a symptom of “renewed confidence” is the launch of takeover bids by Sonae for Portugal Telecom (PT) and Banco Comercial Português (BCP) on BPI bank, both announced at the beginning of this year.

The six-page report, written by FT correspondent in Portugal, Peter Wise, and covers themes such as investment, privatizations, the state of the economy, development in the industrial, power and tourism sectors as well as analyzing the political situation after the first year of José Sócrates’ government. (macauhub)