Groups from Spain and China interested in Portuguese bank Novo Banco

29 December 2014

Proposals to buy Portugal’s Novo Banco, the bank that holds the healthy assets of Banco Espírito Santo, must be submitted by 31 December of this year, according to banking sources cited by the Portuguese press.

BNP Paribas, hired by the Bank of Portugal to set up the sale of Novo Banco, has received expressions of interest from several main financial groups, and Santander is considered to be the frontrunner according to the Spanish press.

Spain’s La Caixa (which owns 44 percent of Banco BPI) and Banco Popular are interested and Banco Sabadell and BBVA are considered to be out of the race.

In Portugal Santander already owns Santander Totta, which has a 11 percent market share, and buying Novo Banco would offer significant synergies, as the former BES bank has a market share of 18 percent.

Chinese group Fosun International is also interested in buying Novo Banco and, according to the Portuguese press, is expected to make a proposal of 3.5 billion euros to buy the bank. (macauhub/CN/PT)